By Paul Adams
Construction Manager, Louisville Metro Parks
In my eight years as construction manager of Metro Parks I have gotten the most enjoyment constructing playgrounds. Playgrounds are just plain fun to build, and I get immense satisfaction from playing a part in building a place for the children of our city to grow and develop their physical and social skills.
That being said, there are a few playgrounds in our great system that I am particularly proud of – not to mention they have the seal of approval from my two junior playground connoisseurs (while they are only 9 and 5 they are much more critical than one might expect). I offer the following three as my favorites:
- Cherokee Park – Big Rock Playground: This is a relatively small playground, but I love the way it fits into the character of this historic park. Metro Parks worked hand in hand with the Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy (LOPC) and the landscape architecture firm Environs, Inc. to make sure this was an enjoyable playground yet it stays nestled into the natural terrain of the Big Rock area. The use of natural stone and its proximity to Beargrass Creek make this a great place for kids to explore and create their own ideas of play. It is also a wonderful place for Mom and Dad to relax while listening to the gentle stream rolling by.
- Iroquois Park – Sunny Hill Playground: This playground/sprayground is nothing short of awesome! Metro Parks partnered with LOPC and The D.R.E.A.M. Foundation to create a haven for children of all ages and abilities to enjoy. This playground was designed to make every effort to allow children and parents with disabilities to play with and along side of fully ambulatory children. Even the hottest of summer days are held at bay with plenty of shade and interactive water features.
- Charlie Vettiner Park Playground: It is BIG! Really BIG! It has many activities for the younger kids, but is still big enough and challenging enough for the pre-teens to enjoy. It has even been reported that the Moms and Dads have trouble staying off of it.
Two playgrounds that have recently opened for business are located at Thurman Hutchins Park and McNeely Lake Park. Breslin Park should be ready for exploration early next spring. We are also partnering again with LOPC and DREAM, so expect big things for the future of Shawnee Park.
Enough about what I think. We want to hear from you. What is your favorite playground?