Landscape Architects Create Natural Landscape for Playground Using Rosetta
Date Published: 2011-07-25
Featured in Landscape Architect & Specifier News, Oct 2011 Issue
Little explorers can discover Michigan’s wonders and learn about the Great Lakes State when they visit Paradise Peninsula Playscape at Waterford Oaks County Park in Waterford Township, Mich.
Located about 37 miles north of Detroit within the Oakland County Parks system, the playground was designed to be accessible and promote inclusive play. Young adventurers worked with 3D site models to give their feedback to the design team.
The site went above and beyond ADA requirements to provide accessibility and meet safety standards.
The play pieces recreate elements native to Michigan. Kids of all abilities two and older thus can:
- Climb up the interior of a simulated tree (by Cre8Play) at the playground’s highest elevation, or use the walkways and “trails” to access the deck that surrounds the top. Michigan boasts thousands of acres of forests, which provide ample recreation opportunities.
- Camp along the water’s edge or fish from a fully accessible rowboat modified by county staff. A log
- Dig for fossils in Michigan’s sandy beach areas, or climb sand dunes to backwoods trails. Simulated beaches and an elevated, accessible sand play area, complete with simulated fossils, allow children of all ages to discover and learn. Michigan’s sandy beaches make the state’s shorelines a great vacation spot for millions of visitors each year.
- Climb glacial rock formations. There are several real and simulated rock features great for climbing and exploring, or just sitting down to rest. Northern Michigan is well known for its rocky shorelines, cut by the glaciers as they receded across the landscape thousands of years ago.
- Cross natural river ravines and canyons or hop across open waters on stepping-stones. The simulated water elements represent Michigan’s nickname (“Great Lakes State”) and emphasize the importance of the Great Lakes to Michigan’s economy and culture. Oakland County is home to 1,400 natural lakes and the headwaters of five major watersheds.
Landscape architects led the county and consultant team in developing the concept, grant application and coordinating construction. Paradise Peninsula was made possible in part by a $250,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-Access to Recreation Initiative administered by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association Foundation. ROWE developed the concepts and a grant application for the Kellogg Access to Recreation-funded Paradise Peninsula Playscape.
- Client: Oakland County Parks and RecreationPrime
- Landscape Architect: ROWE Professional Services Co., Flint, Mich. Douglas Schultz, RLA, Director of Landscape Architecture.
- Subconsultants: PM Blough Inc., Grand Haven, Mich.; Mark Triglaff, Wheaton, Ill.Contractor: Clark’s Construction Co., Detroit; Michigan Recreational Construction, Howell, Mich.; ABC Construction, Trenton,
- Mich.Volunteers: Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast – Construction Technology Students
- Vendors: Sinclair Recreation, Cre8Play, GameTime, Rosetta of Michigan