Paul Horne of the Pittsboro. NC Parks Department involved an impressive list of community members in the renovation of their Kiwanis park, and salvaged slabs of a huge felled oak to serve as imaginative lily pads in a garden 'pond'. Other wood pieces were recyled as a car and a curved seating bench that is intentionally integrated into the playspace, to pull in the grown-ups, rather than leaving them hovering 'round the edges as most playgrounds do. They've recently hosted a sculpture exhibit, featuring the works of local artists, at the playground.
"Renovations include doubling the play space, the addition of colorful shade cloths, 10 new trees plus a variety of shrubs and perennial flowers. Natural play features have been added including two sandboxes, a boulder climbing area, and a unique carved wooden car, along with benches, a hop-scotch area and an incredible “Clyde critter.”
I have been hearing passionately positive feedback from parents, and seeing enthusiastic kids every time I’m out there. My day was made Thursday when a woman confided that she “wished they had something like this in Chapel Hill.” I’ve also heard it described as a “wonderland.” Word must be getting around because I’ve seen higher attendance at the park than ever before. "
I think it's important to note that this project was the renovation of an existing site that still includes traditional, poles-and-platform equipment...it's an excellent model for the addition of natural play spaces to existing playgrounds. Well-done, Pittsboro!
More at the Pittsboro Parks blog.