For kids with severe, complex medical conditions, getting outside during a hospital stay can be a tricky endeavor, including issues with access, adaptable play equipment, and support for medical equipment. Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital (St. Louis, Mo.), a specialty pediatric extended-stay rehabilitation hospital (Maryland Heights, Mo.), is changing that picture with a new 23,000-square-foot ADA-compliant outdoor area, which opened in August 2018 and features a grass ball field, two putting greens, and concrete-paved footpath.

The 5,700-square foot ball field, donated by the Catch 22 Foundation, resembles an actual field (at approximately half the size of a standard Little League T-ball field) with synthetic grass and painted bases, pitcher’s mound, and perimeter to maintain a flat surface that accommodates all patients, including those in wheelchairs, stretchers, or carrying necessary medical equipment. The field can also double as a soccer field, while the nearby 800-square-foot golfing area has two putting greens and six holes.

An outdoor nurses’ station, featuring a butterfly-shaped canopy, is planned to be built adjacent to the field and house equipment, such as mini-refrigerators and an ice maker, and multiple electrical outlets to power kids’ medical equipment during their play time. The outdoor activity space, constructed by McCarthy Building Companies (St. Louis), can be accessed from the main lobby or two entrances in the atrium, all designed with wider doorways to accommodate young patients’ specific needs.