Landscape Architect & Specifier News

AUG 2013

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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Page 25 of 157

playground Climbing Wilder: Elmhurst's New Park Playspace Above Wilder Park, the first park acquired by Illinois' Elmhurst Park District in 1921, received a facelift in 2012 that features multiple net climbers on a new, custom playground. The new play area features many recycled elements, including picnic tables, game tables and benches constructed from recycled plastic timbers, set above poured-inplace surfacing made of recycled rubber tires. By Jerry Pask, ASLA, CPRP, CPSI, Elmhurst Park District Located in the heart of Elmhurst, Ill., Wilder Park is used early and often by residents and students from surrounding schools, as it is bordered by the Elmhurst Public Library, Elmhurst Art Museum, Lizzadro Museum and Wilder Mansion. Constructed in 1995, the Wilder Park playground was scheduled for replacement in 2011, and became part of a larger project partially funded through an Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant. The goal of the design was to accommodate as many playing children as possible. The result was an 8,000+ square foot custom playground that children couldn't wait to explore. Prior to the new playground's installation, the nonprofit organization Kids Around the World removed the old playground and reconstructed the structures before transporting them to an orphanage in Thailand that did not have a playground for children, effectively recycling the Wilder Park playground. Main Structure The main structure is from Landscape Structures. The interior features a 12-foot-high pyramid net climber, with four net climbers connecting the main 26 Landscape Architect and Specifier News pyramid climber to the rest of the structure. The climbers are made of a nylon-based rope anchored to a central vertical pipe and four footings in the ground beneath the safety surfacing. The exterior equipment forms a square around the net climber and includes numerous play activities. Climbers include a pinnacle rock boulder, orbiter spinner, corkscrew climber, track ride, conical climber, vertical ascent, chimney climber, loop pole, and cliff climber. Slides on the structure include a roller slide, cloudburst slides, wavy poly slides, curved slides and a tunnel slide that comes off a 96-inch deck. There are two transfer stations into the structure and the net climber is easily reached from the ground, ensuring accessibility for children with special needs. In addition to the existing mature trees and newly planted trees surrounding the playground, the structure contains two CoolTopper shade sails for additional shade. Preschool Area & Swings The preschool area features a more classic layout, with a main structure, ground components, and a sandbox. The preschool structure includes a clubhouse, crawl tunnel, loop arch climber, a curved slide, double (Continued on page 28)

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