Minnesotans Love Their New Zip Line Park

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When Minnesota’s Three Rivers Park District sketched out the plan for updating an aging playground, there was no question it would include a zip line. 600 kids and their parents made that clear when they were asked for suggestions. Describing the old zip line as a “beloved element of the original play area,” the district… Read more »

The Griff Slides of Erie: Fast, Curvy and Transformational

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Goric embankment slide

Even before their official dedication last month, the Griff slides of Erie, Pennsylvania had taken on almost mythic proportions. “This is just huge for the Erie community,” said landscape architect Alex Luddy. “That’s shown by all the community involvement we had.” From a gleam in the eye of Erie developer Rick Griffith, to the completed… Read more »

An All-Abilities Park Opens In Wisconsin

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“Everybody has the right to play.” It says that in large letters right on the wall at the entrance to Trane All-Abilities Park. It’s a declaration that the people of La Crosse, Wisconsin made real this summer when the 2-acre park, 10 years in the making, was dedicated. Across seven play zones, the park is… Read more »

Goric’s Towering Pyramid Gives Garvies Point a Signature Playground

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Arising on the banks of Long Island’s Hempstead Bay, upon what once was an industrial wasteland, is a new neighborhood. Strung along an inlet and linked by a waterfront promenade, the shops, restaurants and play areas of Garvies Point have already become a popular destination for the residents of Glen Cove, NY. And among the… Read more »

Play Everywhere Is Turning Sidewalks and Streets Into Playgrounds

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Long before the coronavirus shut down parks and playgrounds, kids were hijacking streets and sidewalks and appropriating vacant lots to create their own play areas. They jumped rope, chalked hopscotch on sidewalks and turned any space large enough to build a cardboard fort into an impromptu battlefield. The nation even sung a paean to playing… Read more »

A Case for Elder Playgrounds

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Note: This is the second of three articles about play and playgrounds for seniors. Links to the series are at the end of this article ∼∼∼∼∼ Our smile-less masked world is a sort of backdrop begging to be painted over with happy scenes. With trepidation we’ve burst forth from our collective Covid-chrysalis to not go… Read more »

A Vision for Elder Playgrounds

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Note: This is the first of three articles about play and playgrounds for seniors. Links to the series are at the end of this article. ∼∼∼∼∼ Our static moment of quarantine has been surprisingly elastic. Just as we acclimate and refine the art of stay-at-home lifestyle, society flirts with re-opening. Moving from isolation toward re-emergence… Read more »

Water Play That Lets Kids Be Engineers

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There is a new thinking in water play design that has as much in common with the ubiquitous splash park as a neighborhood playground has with an adventure destination. We noted this trend several months ago in discussing the first season of the water play area at Knudsen Park in Holladay, Utah. The community there… Read more »

Magical Bridge Is Changing What a Playground Should Be

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Magical Bridge kids at play

It was after the birth of her second daughter, developmentally disabled Ava, that Olenka Villarreal discovered how isolating a playground could be. The 34 playgrounds in Palo Alto, California where she lived were all ADA-complaint, but to Villarreal accessibility was not the same as usability. Her quest for a place where Ava and children of… Read more »