Landscape Architect & Specifier News

MAR 2017

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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32 Landscape Architect and Specifier News The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Imagination Playground is located at Watkins Regional Park, an 845-acre park in Upper Marlboro, Md., that is owned and operated by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. The woodland setting was a natural for the "Wonderful Wizard of Oz" playground. Its rural character contains features that mimic an Oz-Kansas landscape, such as cornfields, barn structures, farmhouse, and a pond. Music chimes connect children to an artistic/acoustic sense of play. Programmed events created a very tight window for the design and construction. To meet the challenge, three in-house landscape architects, Brenda Iraola, Chris Colvin and René Albacete, collaborated with playground designers at Landscape Structures and their local representatives Sparks at Play to meet the deadline. A previous 35,300 square foot playground on this site exhibited non-ADA compliance, safety issues, and had outlived life-cycle expectancy. Maintenance issues included a wet and eroded engineered wood fiber (EWF) play surface, and trees with hollow cores. EWF was replaced with a rubber play surface to provide durability, dry conditions, easy maintenance, and colorful graphic storybook images. New, healthy 25-foot tall red oaks provide a woodland playground setting and shade. Proactive measures were taken to deter vandalism. Park police vandal monitoring was improved by cutting underbrush/ invasive species, and providing emergency vehicular access along the Yellow Brick Road entryway. Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) and steel play equipment were selected for vandal resistance and Above: The tall flowers and small 'Cozy Domes' (Landscape Structures) give the illusion of being part of Munchkin Land. For the playground surface, engineered wood fiber was replaced with rubber to provide accessibility, durability, dry conditions, easy maintenance, and colorful graphic storybook images. The play structures were all custom made for ADA compliance. Project Team: Brenda Iraola, M-NCPPC Landscape Architecture Supervisor Chris Colvin, M-NCPPC Landscape Architect René M. Albacete, M-NCPPC Landscape Architect Hunt Valley Contractors Landscape Structures Freenotes

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