Many parks and recreation departments across the United States develop an important planning tool referred to as The Park Classification Plan. This plan is an effort on the part of community planners to ensure that residents have available the proper number of parks, in the best locations for use, with just the right amenities. This requires a thoughtful collection of key information and the application of high quality decision making. Playgrounds, associated areas, and equipment are critical to a well-conceived park plan. The following is a quick refresher in the development of this planning tool.
I visited the Tumbling Bay Playground in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after my Open House Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park tour last weekend. A real inspiration for play ground design. No boundary fence, spiky planting used as part of the planting mix, natural elements used in construction and a real sense of danger in the play equipment.
I had the honor of attending the grand opening of Shady Lane Park in Houston, TX on Oct 10, an event which capped off the National Recreation and Park Association Congress. The project is the 4th in a series of “leave behind projects” designed to create lasting legacies in the cities that host the Congress, and was a collaboration between NRPA, PlayCore, the City of Houston, and several other partners and advocates. Shady Lane was a shining example of a new trend in playground and park design, departing from the normal “pipe and plastic” construction associated with commercial playgrounds, and promoting a city’s heritage through themed play, interpretive signage, and imaginative design.