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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82 Landscape Architect and Specifier News as the needs of children and adults with sensory, developmental, cognitive, or physical disabilities. Parallel, group, and solitary play needs are addressed for those visitors needing such accommodations. Sensory stimulation is a key feature, so colorful, eye-catching objects with tactile interest for both form and function occur throughout the park. There is even an area dedicated to musical play! The park includes environments designed for a variety of play experiences to encourage socialization, creativity, and imaginative play. Multiple play areas offer slides (traditional and embankment styles), swings (belt, bucket, adaptive molded, wheelchair platform, and group), climbers, spinners, rockers, balancing, tunnels, small skills play, sensory features, court and table games, splashpad, bocce court and multi-use court spaces, labyrinth, dog park, fitness circuit, amphitheater, and custom full-site A/V features for music and motion-sensor security features. Plus, custom artwork is found throughout the park, including the bathrooms. Shaded areas for seating and gathering are essential to meet user needs and are provided throughout the park. Given the arid, high-desert location, the xeric plant palette provides a colorful, multi-textured variety of plants, creating year-around interest. A series of swales and check dams supplement the recycled effluent irrigation system. All park features are connected via a wide loop path with painted edging; additional tactile edging identifies when approaching an active play area. The entire play area is surrounded by perimeter fencing with gates that feature accessible locking mechanisms. Due to a shortfall in funding, the city of Rio Rancho and A Park Above, Inc., Left & Below: The founder of A Park Above, Jennie Riedl, installed the mosaic tiles and murals found throughout the park. Riedl introduced the butterfly motif after visiting a similarly inclusive park in Lakeland, Fla. The park, Common Ground, had a butterfly theme, which Reidl saw as a new beginning in park design for children and adults of all abilities.

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