Seven Best Waterfront Playgrounds

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For many of us, the allure of a waterfront begins in childhood. We remember gazing out at the waves and brightly colored boats, the piers and jetties that stretch into the water. We carry with us a sense of the infinite, made visible in the vast, unfathomable distances of the sea (or, say, the Great… Read more »

Seven Ways to Incorporate Nature in Playground Design: A Case Study of Indian Boundary Park

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Yesterday, while scrolling through some photos, I came across one that made me smile, a candid shot of my son and his newfound playmate scrambling over riding horse structures at Indian Boundary Park, a 13-acre park in Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood named for an actual boundary line between the US government and the Pottawattomie Indians…. Read more »

International Garden Festival at Les Jardins de Métis

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In the summer of 1926, Elsie Reford, began transforming her fishing camp on the Metis River into a garden. Located 220 miles north-east of Quebec City, at 48.51º N. latitude, the gardens she created over the next thirty years were the northernmost in the eastern half of North America. Known to some as Les Jardins… Read more »

Designer Profile: Lynn Wolff of Copley Wolff Design Group

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Shortly before they co-founded Copley Wolff Design Group, Lynn Wolff asked John Copley to describe his childhood. They were both teaching at Boston Architecture College at the time, and had a standing Tuesday meeting to discuss their classes and projects. Ms. Wolff’s question wasn’t that unusual. The surprise came, mid-sentence, as Copley was talking about… Read more »

Designer Profile: Michelle Mathis, RLA, Learning Landscapes Design

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Eight years ago, on a five-day cycling tour of Berlin, Michelle Mathis stumbled upon her first bonafide adventure playground. What she saw caught her off guard: along several hundred linear feet of boardwalk, children unaccompanied by parents were using hammers, hand saws, and pieces of scrap wood to build forts, some as high as twenty… Read more »

The 6 Best Parks and Playgrounds for Seniors

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Jared Diamond, an American scientist known for popular science books, such as Guns, Germs, and Steel and The World Until Yesterday, gave an interesting 2013 TedTalk concerning the wide differences in how societies regard senior citizens. As he mentions in the talk, one way these differences are manifest is in filial patterns and living arrangements. For… Read more »

Designer Spotlight: Hitchcock Design Group

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One of my favorite places to go for a walk is the Spruce Plot at the Morton Arboretum, outside Chicago. There is a perceptible hush and temperature drop on entering the forest, as though you’ve been transported to another time and place. A grid of towering spruces crowds out the sky. Dim light filters through… Read more »

The 7 Best Playgrounds of 2016

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The days of monkey bars suspended over pea gravel are far behind us. But the evolution of playgrounds is happening so fast, and in such varied ways, the change can seem dizzying. Certainly one of the biggest trends of 2016 is the growing popularity of fitness-focused playgrounds designed for older children and adults. Another is… Read more »

The World’s Top Five Outdoor Classrooms

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A few months ago, the published results of a four-year demonstration study of 40,000 children across South West England conducted by Plymouth University, found both students and teachers to be happier, more engaged in the learning process, and more enthusiastic about coming to school after spending time in outdoor environments. The study adds to a… Read more »

8 Must-Visit New Orleans Parks and Playgrounds

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With the 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo still fresh in our minds, it seems fitting to wish farewell to New Orleans with a look at some of its best parks, gardens, and playgrounds. What better judge than the people of New Orleans? In this week’s blog, we scour a compilation of Airbnb host-generated guidebooks,… Read more »

Designer Spotlight – H Nyunny Kim of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

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“Who needs to escape the city when you can walk down the street or take the F train to Jay Street or the No. 22 to Clark Street or the B63 bus that goes right to Pier 6 at Atlantic Avenue — and see nature in the city.” That’s Anne Raver, art and design columnist for… Read more »

Our Top 5 Playground Related Blogs

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San Jose Rotary Playground, Adult Playgrounds, Intergenerational Playgrounds, Playground Equipment

A Small Collection of Resources on the Importance of Quality Playground Equipment and Design     One of the more wonderful aspects of play is how it can foster a sense of community. It is no accident that many of our first friendships were formed while using playground equipment. And just on the edges of that play… Read more »