I know I don ‘t talk about my job very much, other than to say I really love it. But I am just too excited about my most recent project not to share. We have been designing a fantasy children’s playground for a local community and I have to say, it is going to be AWESOME. A destination playground unlike anything we currently have in the metro area.
We have pulled out all of the stops to make this playground something completely out of the ordinary, creative, engaging, and full of natural play elements. I am so incredibly passionate about this project- it is a topic I feel strongly about.
99% of American playgrounds look like this:
BLAH! No shade, no imaginative play, no creativity. It really offers children very little other than some physical exercise. Don’t get me wrong, Devan has a blast on this type of equipment but our playgrounds can and should be so much more. I firmly believe young kids should spend the majority of their days outside playing, and communities should be giving them great places to do it.
Our team has spent countless hours pouring over all of the latest research and design recommendations, and lusting over all the amazing nature and adventure playgrounds in Europe. And in the end, I think we have a fairly strong design. Among other elements, we have a giant 3 story tree house, a maze, a grotto and giant sand play area (yay! say the kids, yuck! say the parents!), a “swamp”, a play cottage in a “forest” and a hill with a hideout and hill slide. There are 60 trees throughout the playground and gazillions of shrubs and perennials, and tons of areas for kids to get dirty and explore (Parents, your kids should get dirty sometimes.) There is also some traditional equipment that is missing for many local playgrounds- see saws, tire swings, diggers. I wish I could say more about the name and theme but I don’t want to be google-able. Trust me, it is going to be worth visiting.
We have been working furiously on the details and hopefully the project will bid early this summer. And I am fairly confident that by this time next year, it will actually be built. And though I can’t swear on this, it sounds like it will actually be built the way we designed it. Though, I’ve thought that before and 90% of the time I am sorely disappointed. The roadway project with no trees, the urban plaza project that turned into a turf lawn, the hospital healing garden that never happened, the park project that wasn’t funded, etc., etc. After 6 years in the profession, precious few of my designs have come to fruition. Well, if there was ever a project that I want to see built, this would be it.
I intend to share this particular project with you throughout all of the stages, with updates and pictures as I am able. For those who don’t know, you can finally see what the heck it is I do all day. And for those who are familiar with this profession I am sure you can empathize with the many challenges that accompany seeing a design from concept drawing to actual built form.
I can tell you this- if they do build this and it even remotely resembles our design intent- I am going to host a giant PARTY and invite everyone I know,with young kids or not, to come out and PLAY.