Landscape Architect & Specifier News

NOV 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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Continued on page 20 18 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Healy Playground, located in the heart of a Boston, Massachusetts, neighborhood, was in need of an upgrade to replace the outdated and increasingly unsafe play structure. The Boston Parks and Recreation department hired Copley Wolff Design Group for the project. Principal Sean Sanger explained that their process of meeting with the public informed the final design, which included accessible elements, a natural play area, and a rope structure that provides a tree house feel. Copley Wolff Design Group, a Boston, Massachusetts, based landscape architecture and planning firm, was contracted to redesign and upgrade the 13,000 square foot Healy Playground to create a welcoming destination for children of all ages. "The Boston Parks and Recreation Department put out a request for proposals and fortunately we were awarded this park," said Sean Sanger, principal of Copley Wolff Design Group. "We've done quite a bit of work with the department and they know us fairly well, so I like to think that there's a fair amount of reputation and past experience there." In the course of designing the new Healy Playground, the landscape architects at Copley Wolff met with the community three times to find out what the public desired, present ideas, and finalize the concept. "It's really great when we have a very energetic public and the ability to get as many people to that first meeting as possible," said Sanger, who estimated 20 to 30 people were at the initial planning meeting. The meetings and the design spanned about five months. "In addition to the public, we worked with some students from Northeastern University," he continued. "They were very focused on making sure the playground was fully inclusive in its design." Once plans were completed, the existing playground – which consisted of a traditional single platform play structure surrounded by mulch – was demolished. The concrete paths were taken out as well. "It was a nice little piece, but it was time for an upgrade from a safety side," explained Sanger. The only part of the existing playground that was kept was the mature trees surrounding the site. After about two months of construction in the Boston summer, the playground reopened, much to the joy of the public. "On the day they were taking the construction fencing down, kids were already there eager to get into the playground," Sanger recalled. "It was great." That new playground includes a play tower for younger children with a slide, poured-in-place safety surfacing with an engaging pattern, a linear rope climber structure and more. A natural play area was sited in a grassy area underneath some of the mature trees. "We brought in some logs and laid those on end," Sanger said, adding that they also placed some salvaged boulders in Roslindale's Healy Playground p l a y g ro u n d By Alli Rael, LASN

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