It is always a pleasure to revisit a playground after a period of time has passed since installation – the trees have grown, the shrubs have filled in and some of the bark, originally left on a few pieces of the wood, has been peeled off as children explore the natural materials we’ve used. That’s ok! That’s a sign that the playground is loved and enjoyed (bark will eventually fall off anyway and clients know that!) Our playground carpenter, Dennis, was driving through Batawa and stopped to grab some photos.
On Saturday, the City of Kitchener celebrated Earth Day and the grand opening of the Natural Play Space at Huron Natural Area. Mayor Barry Vrbanovic and Councillor Kelly Galloway-Sealock were on hand for the official ribbon cutting ceremony along with hundreds of families, enjoying the Earth Day celebrations. The play space, adjacent to a natural area and trails is used by the public as well as student and classes from local schools who will now have a new place to play! The playground incorporates both large and small log jam climbers as well as a hill slide, sand pit with water pump and plenty of seating.
On April 7th at the annual conference for Parks and Recreation Ontario, Preston Stringer of Earthscape and Heather Flaherty of the City of Guelph, proudly accepted a 2016 Excellence in Design Award for the Exhibition Park Playground.
The following was read aloud at the Gala Award Ceremony when the award was presented:
“Play might be seen as something of the past… and risky play all but forgotten. But not in Guelph. Inspired by European design, Guelph has created the Exhibition Park Playground, an aesthetically pleasing, challenging yet safe, and – perhaps best of all – all ages friendly play space! The design creates opportunities over multiple zones for different age groups and abilities. Play areas feature different media, such as wood, ropes, nets and boulders, meeting at varying angles and heights which test an individual’s developing abilities. The play structures blend with the surroundings of sand, trees and grass to create a real sense of playing in nature. Parent Ellyn Lusis says ‘Parents have places to sit and watch, and kids no longer need their parents to help them onto equipment. The kids are thrilled to challenge themselves and, each time I visit, I hear some child call out to their parent ‘look at me’. And teens aren’t left out of this either as they are often found challenging their abilities too. Risky play… it could make you want to wish you grew up in Guelph…”
Read the City of Guelph’s Media Release here.
Earthscape was humbled and honoured to receive 12 Awards of Excellence at the Landscape Ontario Gala on January 12th. Nine awards were received for playground design and construction. Three awards were received for residential design and construction. Earthscape was the sole winner in the Commercial Design category for five different playground designs. With these awards, Earthscape has now received over 40 awards in ten years from Landscape Ontario.
Construction of Slide Hill has now begun on Governors Island in New York City with work expected to continue through to January 2016. Slide Hill will have a view to the Statue of Liberty and is one of several hills on the Island that will provide a stunning view of the New York City skyline. Master planned by West8, Earthscape is a design/build partner for the Slide Hill alongside General Contractor ValleyCrest and Engineering firm Stantec Consulting. For more information on the project, click here.
One of Canada’s most unique playground designs has been released for Grange Park, adjacent to the Art Gallery of Ontario. In homage to the neighbouring AGO, the playground represents elements of an artist’s studio at the moment they are interrupted from work.
With funding from the AGO, the City of Toronto and private donors, the Prime Consultant and Lead Designer (park and playground) is PFS Studio, working with local Landscape Architect thinc design, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and Earthscape (playground structures design-build).
The north playground features climbing structures that represent a spilled paint can and crumpled paper. The south playground, in an equal state of disarray, offers a colourful artist’s pallet alongside pencils and a squished paint tube. The art-themed playground was designed to offer the highest play value and inspire creativity. It will be a new urban landmark destination for Toronto’s children and visitors.
Earthscape is looking forward to attending the following upcoming events. Be sure to stop by and see us!
Date: April 1, 2016
Location: Niagara Falls, ON
Canadian Association of Landscape Architects
Date: June 23-25, 2016
Location: Winnipeg, MB