Landscape Architect & Specifier News

SEP 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 on page 20 18 Landscape Architect and Specifier News In the 1930s, when men were excavating on an island in Aurora, Ill., they discovered fossils at the bottom of the lake; fossils belonging to ancient Mastodons that roamed nearly 11,000 years ago. In 2013, an idea arose from RGC Design to create an island adventure and bring back the Mastodons of the Ice Age. From that idea sprung the creation of the Mastodon Island Adventure, in what is now known as Philips Park. While the island's other sites are set to be completed beginning of September, the main play area called Glacial Drift Playground was finished in the spring of 2018. The park environment features walking paths, an interactive mastodon exhibit, and interpretive signs and elements that review the historic mastodon fossil excavation and habitat. The Start The project began as a contest for the area back in 2013. Since the discovery of the fossils, the island had not been utilized much until a master plan was developed and then adopted by the city in 2014. The project was given a state grant to create the Mastodon Island Adventure, including a playground with a full size mastodon on-site. The Main Challenges There was a major setback when the Illinois governorship changed and a hold was placed on all grants. As a result, the project halted. A year and a half passed and then suddenly the awarded grants were released and given back in 2016. After applying for an extension permit, the island finally went into the construction phase. In that time of Mastodon Island Adventure - Glacial Drift Playground p l a y g ro u n d Landscape Architecture by RGC Design // Edited by Chanté McKowan Above: The Glacial Drift Playground is located on the seven acre Mastodon Island Adventure at the Philips Park site in Aurora, Ill. The 7,400-square- foot play area has a 5-12 age play structure with five tree toppers and three slides. A 4' hill slide with a step access is located on a wall that rises up behind an existing amphitheater. The main deck area of the playground is themed as though it were a glacier melting into the surrounding land.

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