The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) and the Voice of Play asked our membership to help us feature some of their favorite projects, sharing “great playgrounds” of all shapes and sizes.
Join us as we continue our journey to see the exciting, colorful and creative projects our members have shared with us! These playground submissions span the globe and we hope they inspire families to visit a “great playground” in their community. Click here to view the previous feature from IPEMA member Robertson Recreational Surfaces & Tot Turf, and check out the next submission below!
BCI Burke Company was founded by John Edward Burke in 1920 and first started as a steel radiator furniture company. However, once he received a request to fabricate a slide for a family friend, the company began to offer playground products. Each decade brought a new type of equipment, like fitness and themed playgrounds, and today, Burke continues to innovate with new products, certifications and partnerships.
Barnard Park – Chicago, Illinois
Located in the Chicago metro area in Beverly, Barnard Park was named in honor of Erastus A. Barnard, who reportedly donated land to the city for a park in 1900. Today, families can take a stroll through the open park while their kids play on the updated equipment. Learn more about the history of this park.
City Square Park – Broken Bow, Nebraska
Found right in downtown Broken Bow, the City Square Park is home to the updated playground equipment reflective of the Old West. Play equipment facades include a bank, train station and jail, where kids can let their imaginations run wild, while parents observe from the nearby Tom Butler Memorial Bandstand gazebo or picnic tables.
Friendship Park – Avondale, Arizona
One of ten city parks in Avondale, Friendship Park sits right outside of Phoenix along the Agua Fria River. This inclusive play equipment, utilizing the Nucleus NU-2600 from Burke, lets kids develop their skills through slides, climbing equipment, finger mazes and much more. It even includes an ADA accessible ramp, so no kid is left behind in play!
Owen’s Playground at HillCrest Elementary – Downers Grove, Illinois
This first all-accessible playground at a public school was opened in 2016. The Downers Grove community rallied together to raise funds from a variety of donors for two years, to bring this colorful, wheelchair-accessible playground to fruition. Kids can choose to hang out at the “Relaxation Station,” “Buddy Benches,” or a number of the connected structures that encourage inclusive play.
Hope Playground – Redmond, Oregon
At Sam Johnson Park, located north of Bend, Hope Playground is “A Place for Everyone.” Opened in 2015, the playground includes areas for kids of all ages to play in—450 kids to be exact. From rock walls to slides, cruisers to play panels and more, your child will be too busy playing with all of the equipment to notice you relaxing in the shaded areas for adults.
Marine Park – Blaine, Washington
An attractive location for bird watching, northern Washington’s Marine Park Playground sits right on the water, a prime location for birds and water fowl to flock to. The nautical-themed playground adds to the atmosphere and is fit for any pirate to set sail – or walk the [rock wall] plank!
Nelson Mandela Elementary School – Omaha, Nebraska
This private school located in north Omaha at the former Blessed Sacrament Church and School site offers kids an extension of what they’re learning in the classroom. With ladders, slides and tons of other equipment to climb, kids will get moving on this fitness playground.
Parker’s Park – West, Texas
Coming through! It seems that firefighting is a dream many young kids have – and that dream can come true on this fire station-themed playground. Formerly known as the West City Park, it was renamed after a young boy’s father was killed in a devastating explosion in the town.
Seawolf Park – Galveston, Texas
Formerly an immigration station site, Seawolf Park is located on Pelican Island just north of Galveston. Children and parents will have access to this open-air playground with nearly 360 degrees of nautical views.
Squaw Valley Park – Pittsburgh, PA
Located in the metro area of the city of Pittsburgh, Squaw Valley is the township’s most popular park. One of two playgrounds in the area, Burke used their themed Pirate Ship playground equipment to create an imaginary space for everyone to play!
Staring Lake Park – Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Offering a variety of amenities, it seems impossible that the community surrounding Staring Lake Park wouldn’t take advantage of all it has to offer. Head southwest out of Minneapolis and not only will you find an archery range, a disc golf course, a sledding hill and more, your kids will run up to a huge, scattered play area. Let them roam – there’s a lot of equipment to play on!
St. Mary’s Springs Academy – Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
This student playground was built right in the city where Burke is headquartered today. The open green space allows kids’ minds to wander and enjoy some time on their favorite piece of playground equipment – from the rock walls and tic-tac-toe panel to the slides and rope climbers… and more!
Stoner Thomas Elementary – Lexington, North Carolina
There isn’t a child left behind in this all-accessible play space! Surrounded by trees, this elementary school playground is located south of Winston-Salem in North Carolina in Lexington. One of the best parts is that there isn’t just a traditional swing set; there’s a set of swings that has a safety harness for extra protection and “maximum play value!”
Scott’s Place Park – Wellington, Florida
With a tagline like “A Playground for All Abilities,” you can’t go wrong with the play equipment that’s offered on this entire acre of land. This playground was made possible by local residents who donated a generous amount of money in honor of their son Scott, who passed away at a young age. The community (300 volunteers!) came together one weekend to help assemble the playground equipment and it has since been a popular destination for families and children living north of Boca Raton.
Thanks for sharing your special projects with us, BCI Burke Company!
Did you miss the deadline to submit your “Great Playground”? If you are a member of IPEMA and would like to have your playground featured, please contact Lesley.Sillaman@havas.com with your “Great Playground” submission (photos encouraged!) and you could be featured in an upcoming blog post.