Located in McLean, Virginia, Clemyjontri Park is a unique and vibrant destination designed to provide an inclusive and accessible play experience for children of all abilities. Its rich history and thoughtful design make it an ideal location for photographing children, particularly those who may have difficulty sitting for traditional portrait sessions.
The park’s history dates back to 2000 when Fairfax County Park Authority acquired the land from the late Adele Lebowitz, a philanthropist and widow of Washington Post cartoonist Herbert L. Block. Mrs. Lebowitz had a vision of creating a playground where children with disabilities could play alongside their able-bodied peers. Her dream came true in 2007 when Clemyjontri Park opened its gates to the public.
Clemyjontri Park spans over 2 acres and features an assortment of play equipment designed to accommodate children with various physical, sensory, and cognitive challenges. The park’s name is derived from the first names of Adele Lebowitz’s four children: Carolyn (CL), Emily (EMY), John (Jon), and Petrina (Tri).
What sets Clemyjontri Park apart from other playgrounds is its dedication to accessibility and inclusion. The park boasts wheelchair-accessible ramps, swings with high backs and harnesses, and a specially designed carousel that allows children using wheelchairs to enjoy the ride. The playground surface is made of a rubberized material, providing a safe and comfortable environment for children to explore.
While Clemyjontri Park may not be the most picturesque location for portrait sessions in the traditional sense, it does offer a vibrant and colorful backdrop that perfectly complements the energy and joy of childhood. Its accessibility features provide a supportive and engaging environment for children who may have greater difficulty participating in more typical portrait sessions. This makes the park a great option for capture candid moments of child subjects playing and interacting with each other.
However, it is important to note that Clemyjontri Park is only suited for portrait sessions focused primarily on children. The park’s design and play equipment are tailored to meet the needs of young visitors, and the playground nature of the park itself, make it unsuitable for portraits sessions that involve a different range of subjects.