Friday, October 26, 2012

Play Set Into Nature: Engleman Park Wilsonville OR

A few years ago this lot was covered in trees, with a lone picnic table. Neighbors were not clear if they were even allowed in. At the Engleman Park grand opening next week it will be clear that this is a community space for play and relaxation that is centered around nature. The park will provide a respite for one of the denser areas of the city. 

The park features sit within a beautiful grove of  trees. The previous owner of the property planted them all 50 years ago. While brand new, the features seem as through they fit with the site seamlessly.

There are plenty of opportunities for play in nature and with natural materials as well as nature themed play equipment. A main central features is a rocky swale that will catch stormwater as well as provide an exploration place for imaginative play.

 Downed trees, boulders and stumps were salvaged from the site and nearby parks. This is a beautiful blend of equipment and rubber surfacing (shown below) while also accentuating the natural elements of the site; trees, boulders and water.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nature Play Inspiration : School Grounds and Wood

Natural Playground Construction Timelapse from Turtle Rock Preschool on Vimeo.

I find these photos very inspiring. Their use of wood and natural materials is beautiful and in nice proportions.  The resulting spaces, most of which are in schools, would be inspiring and trans formative for young people. I have seen a few climbers similar to this, but this one is massive and has beautiful lines. All of these pieces were designed by Copper Beach in the UK. Their website has many more photos and information on their projects.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Come see the giant logs and lend a hand: Silver Falls State Park

Last week the crane was out in full force at Silver Falls State Park. The Bear, Cougar, and Bird themed discovery areas are under construction. The Silver Falls State Park Animal Discovery Area was design around a 1/4 mile loop path and 15 animal themed areas. The setting and access to natural materials will make this a fantastic project!

A four foot diameter fir tree was felled, portioned into pieces, peeler and place in the natural play area. The left chunk will be the crawl through 'cub den'. The right chunk will be hollowed out and become the 'bear cave'.

Park staff found just the right root wad for the 'cougar den' and it was placed on site.

Log and rock scramble areas in the Cougar area are underway. Hand holds will be added to the large logs so kids can climb more easily.


The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has asked ON Play (The Oregon Natural Play Initiative) to host a construction workshop in October. Join us to tour the current construction, talk over the plans, get dirty and build some bird themed features: install a bird blind, plant a ‘bearry garden’, build a nest kids can fit in and many other wild things.

When: Sunday October 28th  10:00am – 2:00pm
Where: Silver Falls Group Camp Area (north side of the park)
What: Construction Workshop and Tour
Who: On Play members and interested friends and community members

Please RSVP to Michelle: Michellem at greenworkspc dot com 

Hope to see you there!

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