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 GameTime and check out the next submission below!
Robertson Recreational Surfaces & Tot Turf originally started out as a company that primarily installed pool decks in commercial and residential applications. Inspired by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations, Robertson found itself involved in the playground industry in order to provide the best in accessibility and safety through safer recreational surfaces.
Freedom Park – California
Freedom Park is a beloved playground of the residents of Hanford, California. Due to the nature of the all-accessible park, when local officials decided to replace the cushioned rubber matting with less expensive wood chips, it was no surprise it sparked public criticism. Residents fought for the city officials to listen, informing them that the playground was originally paid for through private donations and paying to resurface the worn-out rubber would be the first cost the city would have to pay. Other residents were concerned that “updating” the park with wood chips wouldn’t allow disabled people to play at the park due to uneven surfaces. Luckily, councilmen would support spending general fund money to maintain the rubber matting in lieu of buying wood chips for the playground.
George Rocky Graham Park – California
Did you know that Rocky Graham Pak is the only recreational outdoor space in Marin City, California? Known to be the most diverse city in the county, this Marin City park has recently been redesigned after falling into disrepair in the 1970s. The area hadn’t been used in over 20 years after it was dismantled in the 1990s, until the community rallied together with a petition to bring it back to life, with the help of the Trust for Public Land. It now features a tree-house themed structure, colorful drought-resistant turf and a fitness area for adults.
Hilltop Sundial Park – California
Built in 1979 with the support of many organizations and funds (mainly local), the Hilltop Sundial Park located in the San Franciscan neighborhood, Bayview, was recently renovated to include new amenities. It now features two playgrounds (with the rubber matting portraying a moon and sun in each respective area), new seating, improved ADA accessible pathways, new trails, picnic areas, a fitness area, an improved lawn with fresh green grass and a skate park, reported to be the first skate park in San Francisco thanks to help from the Tony Hawk Foundation. The park also received improvements to its well-known sundial plaza. With the help of several community workshops, focus groups and volunteer clean up days, this park is now a positive establishment in the community.
Magical Bridge Playground – California
The Magical Bridge Playground is part of an even bigger initiative – the Magical Bridge Foundation, which aims to bring their inclusive and innovative playgrounds to Bay Area communities. Now open in Palo Alto’s Mitchell Park, the Magical Bridge Playground is open every day and is free to the public. With its “100% inclusive” environment, kids of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy the magical features of the park, like the fully accessible treehouse and bridge, 100% accessible slide mound, 24-String laser harp and the smooth, seamless paths and turf. The Magical Bridge Foundation believes (and we agree!) that “a community benefits from the elimination of social stigmas and prejudices, and this naturally happens when people of all abilities have the chance to play together.”
Other projects include Magical Bridge Playground in Redwood City’s Red Morton Park (expected to open in December 2018), Magical Bridge Playground in Sunnyvale’s Fair Oaks Park, (expected to open in 2019), Magical Bridge Playground in Morgan Hill’s Community Park (expected to open in 2019) and newly-announced Magical Bridge Playground in Mountain View’s Rengstorff Park, which is raising its remaining funds and hopes to open in late 2019.
Mountain Lake Park – California
Three local mothers formed the “Friends of the Mountain Lake Park Playground” when they learned they needed community advocates in order to renovate Mountain Lake Park Playground in San Francisco. An area nestled among slopes and trees, the newly renovated playground includes separate play areas that are organized according to age and “play ability,” and are interconnected by a series of pathways. The playground comes complete with a concrete slide centerpiece and observation platform. Extra design elements incorporate some of the area’s natural history into the play landscape: “sand dunes” are representative of the rolling dunes that once appeared in the region; the ribbed concrete wall abstractly mimics the tulle reeds on the nearby shore; animal tracks and sculptures sprinkled throughout the play areas draws reference to the wildlife; and timber structures reflect the bark of nearby trees in the forest. Spend a tranquil day on the playground near Presidio National Park!
Thanks for sharing your special projects with us, Robertson Recreational Surfaces & Tot Turf!
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.