But, most of these spaces will get a low level of maintenance and the hill is likely to turn into dirt and mud at the top and on the sides of the slide from all of the excited foot traffic. I want to encourage this 'traffic' but discourage mud. Below are things I have tried or proposed recently with a varying degree of success. Let me know if you have installed or seen something that works well. I would be interested in photos too.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO AVOID THIS (AND WORSE)?
|photo from http://www.eastexasarboretum.org/photo2_3.html|
- Using bark mulch next to the slide and on the top of the mound to simplify mowing and edging as well as reduce grass trampling and mud. I worry that the chips will migrate after a while leaving... you guessed it dirt.
- I like the slide from Friedberg's Central Park example. I wrote about here. The concrete sides save surrounding hill and vegetation. Plus they are fun to climb!
- What about mats that support lawn or fake lawn? Here is an example from Erect Architecture that I like.
- I have used a soil binder. The one I specified is actually used in outfield dirt on baseball fields. They send an aggregate and binder and you mix with native soil. This one happens to be red too, very fun!
|Clackamas Community College Early Head Start Facility by GreenWorks|
|Bethany Meadows 'Pirate Ship Park' by GreenWorks|
|This example from Cooper Mountain Nature Park|
shown resilient surfacing next to the sides of the slide.
- What about a high percentage of river rock in the soil? This is good for stabilizing and less mud in the long run but tends to kill the grass quickly.
- I have just used grass and let it turn into dirt and get compacted. As long at the owner and maintenance person were ok with this. Here is a nice example of brown grass that still looks fun!
Have you had good success with hills and slides? Do you mind the dirt or mud? I think it may all depend on the site and the user but I have not seen a good one size fits all solution...yet. If you have read this far go ahead and leave a comment! Sometimes I feel like my posts drop from my fingers off the end of the earth.