LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.
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Continued from page 20 20 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Conservancy to prioritize improvement projects and secure city funding. "Through these efforts, the park began its re-emergence," Runkel said. "With the transformation came an increased public interest in the park, and as other projects within the park were completed, a new group of neighbors emerged to advocate for the replacement of the existing 20-year old Karnes play structure." The Karnes Playground Task Force was created in 2013, and then architects from Hufft Projects conducted a workshop and later prepared a series of conceptual sketches. The Kansas City Parks Department collaborated with the Playground Task Force to identify which features from the sketches were feasible, taking safety standards, code requirements, budget and other factors into consideration. The landscape architects also worked closely with ABCreative, Missouri's local source for Berliner Seilfrabrik equipment. "Several themes that emerged from the workshop included nature play, water, one of a kind, climbing and music," Flad said. "A central mound feature resonated from a sketch and created topography in an otherwise flat area of the park. This became the element the resulting playground was built around. A 'dry pond' feature with sand, boulders, and a small boardwalk was included in the vicinity of a large cottonwood tree." Community members wanted to incorporate water into the play area, but this presented a challenge. While a variety of concepts and options were evaluated, this ultimately was determined not to be feasible because there were no water lines close to the site. Top, Right: The first phase of the park included an 8-foot high circular synthetic land form with a hill slide, swings, a net climber, natural stone seating, a "dry pond" with sand, boulders and a small boardwalk. The 5-foot wide stainless steel slide can accommodate as many as five children at a time. About 210 Prairie Dropseed grasses were planted on one side of the mound. Volunteers installed the plants the weekend before the grand opening. Left: Pegasus is the 26-foot, 7-inch tall centerpiece of the Karnes Playground. Because of its height, it offers a large enough space inside the net for both children and adults, something not found in many traditional playground solutions, McNamara said. The net features a patented tensioning system that removes all technical connections from the play zone and also allows for the net to be tensioned evenly across the entire structure. Bottom, Right: The Picadilly Circle complements the Pegasus and the nature theme of the playground. Berliner Seilfrabrik manufactured Pegasus, Picadilly Circle and another feature at Karnes called the Speedway, a zip line. p l a y g ro u n d Muskogee Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum 'Legacy') Black Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica)