Landscape Architect & Specifier News

SEP 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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September 2017 77 The developer received partial funding for the park via grants to ensure important features of the park would be included. The project management group that oversaw the construction self-purchased all the site furnishings and play equipment, which eliminated contractor mark- ups and allowed the park to be built for less than it would traditionally cost. This savings were passed on to the design and allowed pieces like the willow structures and large play pieces to be built. Connecting children with nature in a heavily used urban environment was a challenge. The playground educates and connects children with nature in several ways. The major focus was to develop a central nature exploration area. Tree sculptures made from locally salvaged logs display growth rings and natural forms. A hut, arches and walls were made by a local artist using willow branches to create a fanciful center maze. A stone streambed connects the willow maze with the adjacent hill. In addition to the nature exploration zone, children are connected by the gardens designed to attract butterflies and birds. Another subtle message is delivered by pavement inscribed with the animals of the local area. The design strives for maximum sustainability on all levels. Play equipment, site furnishings and matting are primarily from recycled materials and were chosen for their durability. Irrigation is with recycled water. Plants used are low water use, native and adapted, as well as being nontoxic and safe for children. "Mission Bay Kids' Park provides a much needed respite in this urban environment..."

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