Words and Photos: Courtney DiSalvo, Belgard Brand Manager
Outdoor living companies come together to give family the accessible backyard of their dreams
Tiara Disney and her family love spending time outdoors and taking advantage of the long, warm days provided by their proximity to the West Coast. The family home is on a great lot with a nice backyard space – but prior to this year, they didn’t have a backyard suited for their family’s needs.
The Disney family views their home as their sanctuary, but the layout and lack of grass in their backyard prior to this year inhibited how much quality time they could spend outside. Predominantly filled with dry dirt and gravel, it was not accessible for Tiara’s young daughter.
“My toddler isn’t strong enough to push her wheelchair on rocky, uneven surfaces and her anti-tip wheels would get caught in the gravel in our yard,” said Tiara. “This made it difficult for her to travel any distance in the yard without assistance, and the small patio space limited the amount of time we could spend outside with her. We love sitting in the sun and barbecuing as a family, so we dreamed of creating a comfortable space where we could bond and share a meal together while enjoying nature.”
The Giveaway of a Lifetime
Tiara knew a backyard upgrade would take a great deal of time and resources, but she hoped to one day have a space where her whole family could easily gather and connect with each other.
“I really wanted to expand our patio and add more chairs and a built-in bench; that way, my daughter could wheel up next to us and sit comfortably. I also had a vision of adding fun touches, like throw pillows and accessories, so we could create a lounge for her too.”
While browsing online, Tiara found the application for Belgard’s 2021 Make Room Outside Summer Giveaway. To apply, entrants needed to submit a short essay and photos detailing why they deserved to win a new, professionally designed fire pit living room.
“I truly never believed I would win, but I figured this was a great opportunity to try to give my family the backyard they deserved,” she said. “If I was selected, I knew this would provide my daughter a safe, usable and comfortable space to grow up and have fun.”
After a few weeks, Tiara received an exciting email – her family was selected and would receive a new backyard, courtesy of the Belgard Make Room Outside Summer Giveaway, conducted in partnership with POLYWOOD®.
“I was thrilled when I got the email that we won the giveaway,” said Tiara. “I could not wait to make our backyard dreams a reality so we could enjoy time together outside in the summer and all year round.”
A Team Effort to Create an ADA-Compliant Space
As soon as Tiara and her family were notified, the Belgard and POLYWOOD teams came together to start planning. To build out an ADA-compliant backyard, they recruited local partners to ensure this outdoor living space was perfect. SiteOne Landscape Supply, Sunburst Landscaping and the Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association banded together to complement Belgard and POLYWOOD’s efforts and customize every element to the family’s style and needs.
To create a functional space suitable for the Disney family’s everyday needs, the teams built out all the elements on Tiara’s wish list and more:
- A paver patio with Belgard pavers for smooth, easy wheelchair access
- A Belgard fire pit for family fun and heat on colder nights
- A built-in bench with planters for additional, durable seating – where Tiara’s daughter can join her family
- An integrated lighting system for both functionality and safety
- An irrigation system for ease of use
- A turf yard upgrade for minimal maintenance
- Full landscaping upgrade with shade trees to help beat the heat
- Additional patio seating, courtesy of POLYWOOD
“Providing amazing outdoor living spaces for families like the Disney family is why we host this giveaway each year,” said Joe Raboine, Director of Residential Hardscapes at Belgard. “It was a wonderful experience bringing all our local partners together to create an outdoor living space for such deserving people, and we know they will enjoy it for years to come.”
An Everyday Outdoor Sanctuary
The Disney family’s backyard renovation was completed in 2022, and they now spend as much time outside as they can with family and friends.
“We are so grateful to have this space where our daughter can spend time with us and no longer have to worry about getting around in her chair,” said Tiara. “We now get outside more often and love inviting family and friends over to make new memories with us.”