My local park has been under renovation for a year and a half. It has been painful to watch the slow pace. The new playground area opened last fall, and this spring the remainder of the park looked complete, however, the construction fence remained. Signs finally appeared asking for patience while the new grass took root. Yesterday, the fence came down, and today, a lovely, warm Saturday, neighbourhood families were out in full force.
The park is divided into three zones, a playground, a field and an area shaded by trees. With the redesign, the three sides of the field adjacent to the street are now bounded by a long short wall, a taller sloped wall and a few steps up to a building. The long wall is low enough to sit on, yet high enough to prevent kids from easily running out onto the road. Now able to move with more freedom, boys and girls are doing what they do best, inventing play.
The kids, depending on their size, step or climb onto one of the low ends of the sloped wall. They walk up the curve, and when they arrive at a height where they feel comfortable, they stop, look around, and then jump onto the soft, newly laid sod below. It is encouraging to see all elements of a park accessible for play, not just those designed specifically for the purpose.