Client: Halifax Regional Municipality
Collaboration: Ekistics Plan + Design
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Construction Budget: $250,000 – $500,000
Completion Date: Fall 2016
Photo Credits: Helen Earley- Family Fun Halifax, Alex Smith- PlayGroundology
Drawing inspiration from the rich history of the surrounding landscape, Earthscape has designed a play space that combines the unique cultural heritage of the site with exciting play environments that provide challenge, graduated risk, and opportunities for both social and sensory play.
The Dingle playground at Sir Sandford Fleming Park is a natural playground with an epic log tower that pays homage to the iconic Dingle Tower that was built in the early 1900s. The park, on Halifax’s northwest arm is a large green space frequented by visitors who picnic for the afternoon or hike the trails.
The playground has multiple zones – a senior play area, junior area, sand and water play plus musical instruments. The log tower and slide is the focus of the senior play zone where children can climb through multiple rope levels to get a remarkable view of the water and surrounding landscape. A large log jam™is designed to challenge young visitors with graduated risk and reward in a safe play space defined by the engineered wood fibre surfacing.
The junior play area presents challenges and opportunities tailored for little ones aged 2 to 5 years. A fallen log climber and adjacent log steppers promote motor skill development at an appropriate scale for this age group. Using natural topographic changes, a wide hill slide is nestled in a grassy knoll. The slide itself is bordered by vertical log steppers on one side and log terraces on the other, both providing fun and challenging ways to clamber to the top. Traditional climbing bars integrate more senior challenges for any older friends or parents sharing the space in with the little ones.
Along the path to the beach, visitors encounter the sand and water play area. Bordered by a concrete runnel on one side and natural log edging on the other, this area encourages children to communicate and work together as they build and create with water and sand. They can build dams and learn from the primal dynamics of flow and resistance, solids versus liquids, and sand versus water.