Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUL 2018

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 p l a y g ro u n d Above: Five brown poles with fire carvings at the top make up the campfire that shoots out water as the children stand underneath it. Scattered throughout the playground are ground sprays. Top, Right: Squirrel and chipmunk faces were painted on three animal cannons to entertain the children and provide a wildlife environment. Bottom, Right: The new bean- shaped swimming pool is located near the splashpad and is approximately 50'x 60' in dimension. It has a 1,974-square-foot surface area and holds 59,100 gallons of water. the first in Wisconsin and the standard for splashpad design in the state. Bringing extensive experience in pool and aquatic facility design, Ayres also designed a new swimming pool as part of the facility reconstruction project. Splashpads, also referred to as aquatic playgrounds, spray parks, and splash parks, have skyrocketed in popularity since the mid-2000s, according to Theisen and MacDonald. They have found that many municipal pools were reaching or exceeding their life expectancy, leaving clients wondering whether to invest millions of dollars to rebuild their pool or spend a fraction of the cost and install an interactive water feature, which typically has far fewer needs for long-term maintenance, upkeep, and staffing. "They are reasonably affordable for a community to construct and to maintain. There aren't as many liability issues associated with them as there sometimes can be for pools. They do not require lifeguards, which can be a cost savings for communities, and they fit into almost any kind of landscape," MacDonald said. "Pool facilities just take a lot more of everything, whereas a splashpad can fit into almost any location in a community." When designing splashpads – in Blue Mounds and beyond – Theisen and MacDonald consider a host of factors, including parking, ADA standards, shade, location, and proximity to restrooms. "All of that comes into play. If this is going into a pre-existing site, we will definitely make sure that there is ample parking and that it's very close to restroom facilities, and potential changing rooms need to be within a couple hundred feet of the splashpad," MacDonald said. They are also mindful of important behind- the-scenes events, such as the programmed water sequences and interactive features that are hydraulically tied together. If one child stops the pressure on a feature by covering the spray nozzle with his or her foot, it influences the pressure on a feature another youngster is playing with. Splashpad features are typically sequenced around the pad so that it's always a guessing game as to where the water's coming from next, Theisen explained. 22 Landscape Architect and Specifier News

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