Tiny Wonderful in Lamar | Popup Playground

 
The Radian team has partnered with the City of Lamar and the GOCO Inspire Initiative to improve Willow Creek Park so that it continues to be a great place to hang out and encourage residents to enjoy the outdoors. Lamar approached Radian with a challenge of replacing the playground with a diversity of elements that are more integrated with nature and the surroundings.

Using our Tiny Wonderful placemaking initiative, we set out to engage families and kids in Lamar in imagining what a new playground could look like, and then bringing those ideas to life using our library of pop-up materials.

Phase 1: City As Play Workshop – August 2018

We partnered with the grand opening of Wheel Park in order to engage community members of all ages to identify play elements that inspire them. Through this workshop, we collected qualitative and quantitative data in order to develop a pop-up playground later in the fall.

Using art supplies and “found objects” scattered on tables, we challenged kids from the community to create a model of the type of playground they would love to play on. They created 35 playground models, featuring a wide range of creative ideas, including a teeter-totter, zipline, swing, canopy bridge, trampoline, rock climbing wall, and more!

Phase 2: Pop Up Playground – November 2018

Using the ideas from our City As Play workshop, we tested popular playground concepts to recreate what a new playground would look like, using the kids’ ideas and recommendations. With materials from the Tiny Wonderful, we constructed a playground with 5 key elements:

  • Treethouse Tower
  • Climbing Tower
  • Canopy Bridge
  • Ground-play Tubes + Tunnels
  • Mobile seating

“I would name this ‘Amazing Playground’ because it’s amazing” ~ Brian, 6

The kids were engaged in real-time design and construction of the playground elements, including:

 

  • Placing nylon color-block panels to create unique play spaces within the Treehouse.
  • Arranging and rearranging 5 ground-play tubes to create challenging and imaginative play for all ages.
  • Naming the elements such as “Wiggly Worm Bridge” and “Danger Tunnels” and “Amazing Park”.
  • Placing seating elements where adults might want to sit and watch kids play and to encourage a positive environment for adults.

“Helping build everything was my favorite part!” ~ Mattie, 8

As a result of our efforts, Lamar plans to continue testing concepts in order to inform the planned construction of new play equipment at Willow Creek Park, with an emphasis on nature-inspired play. Check back for more updates on the new park, coming summer of 2019!

Community Centered Design
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Address: 3264 Larimer Street, Suite D, Denver, CO 80205 | Email: admin@radianinc.org