One Hundred Forty: Building a Playground

“The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

“In neighborhoods without a usable park or playground, the incidence of childhood obesity increases by 29 percent.” – Darell Hammond

Tuesday, May 20th

It just so happens that my children are embarking on their public school adventure at a time when their school is planning a playground rebuild. The existing playground does not suit the physical and social needs of all the children, nor does it incorporate enough elements to engage the children in the Autism Spectrum or with varying physical abilities. That means – woohoo! – I get to help build a playground.

When I first joined the PTSA, this idea came up and it seemed overwhelming to raise enough funds and public interest. A small team took on the grant writing and got the ball rolling to the point we are at now which is working with a design firm to build the playground we want. The designers presented three conceptual spaces based on the feedback they received from parents and community members at the last forum. Glacial landforms, forest retreat, and a magnetic zone.

I like working in a larger group and following the flow of ideas. By time we were placing dots on the features we liked best, I was chatting with several parents about how the glacial features would soon become the kissing rocks. And that’s a good thing! The existing space feels so barren and patrolled, and while there are certain populations of children who need extra supervision for their safety there are also a large number of children who need the space to create social experiences with one another. The little ones need features that encourage their creative play and the older kids need ones that allow them to approach and gather with one another. It will be interesting to see where this goes…

Are you working on a project that is bigger than yourself? A legacy?


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