ADVERTISEMENT
03-12-21 | Department

New Playground Builds Community

Red-Tailed Hawk Inclusive Playground in Aurora, Colorado
by Sean O'Keefe

Urban Play Studio and Colorado Hardscapes, a Bomanite-licensed concrete contractor, donated their time and resources to design and create the Red-tailed Hawk Inclusive Playground in Aurora, Colorado. Designed to be boundary-free and equitable in use the playground focuses on a variety of developmental play experiences while engaging all the senses. Play areas are organized by use and designated by color, texture, and song. The site features a sensory wall composed of a tactile composition of shapes, textures, and colors, a wavy walk that undulates like a roller coaster, and swings, spinners, and slides of several sorts. The site is a third of an acre and features an interactive gateway and sensory sound bollards, integrated developmental play experiences, and a sensory garden. Universal design elements include a rhythm and music plaza, a sensory retreat, a wavy walk, a wheelchair swing, embankment slides, an accessible spinner, and ziplines.
Urban Play Studio and Colorado Hardscapes, a Bomanite-licensed concrete contractor, donated their time and resources to design and create the Red-tailed Hawk Inclusive Playground in Aurora, Colorado. Designed to be boundary-free and equitable in use the playground focuses on a variety of developmental play experiences while engaging all the senses. Play areas are organized by use and designated by color, texture, and song. The site features a sensory wall composed of a tactile composition of shapes, textures, and colors, a wavy walk that undulates like a roller coaster, and swings, spinners, and slides of several sorts. The site is a third of an acre and features an interactive gateway and sensory sound bollards, integrated developmental play experiences, and a sensory garden. Universal design elements include a rhythm and music plaza, a sensory retreat, a wavy walk, a wheelchair swing, embankment slides, an accessible spinner, and ziplines.

When Kerry White, owner of Urban Play Studio, was contacted by the City of Aurora, CO about supporting a grant application to secure supplemental funding for a universally inclusive playground, she knew right away it was a project she could get behind.

"The City was inspired by a local child and his family who had received a grant from the Make A Wish Foundation," says White. "I donated time and services to the grant application process to help get some ideas and costs on the table. The best projects are community-led and this one represents a large team effort."

img
 
Like White, when Colorado Hardscapes learned of the project, they were eager to get involved. Founded in 1947, Colorado Hardscapes is a Bomanite-licensed concrete contractor and has long maintained a firm-wide commitment to giving back.

"We knew right away this was something we wanted to be a part of," says Project Manager Christy Bol. The child's wish of wishes was to go to the park to play and laugh with other children. Making that dream come true was a joy and honor for all involved."

The manufacturer's Micro-Top was used to make the sensory wall pop with color, while a texture mat added a high-touch surface to the rising wall. Their Con-Color was also used to stain the concrete to add swooshes of whimsical flair to flatwork surfaces.

"We donated the materials and labor to do the wavy walk and stained concrete design throughout the park and did the vibrant, textured seat wall at cost," says Bol. "We were also able to secure a donation from our concrete supplier, Aggregate Industries, for all of the concrete we installed."
Beyond the giving back, Bol shares that the project called upon Colorado Hardscapes' artistic capacities. "There was only a sketch to start with, so our team got to be creative in conceptualizing the parts and pieces of this one-of-a-kind sensory wall."

Since it opened in 2019, the park has welcomed children and families from across metro-Denver. Special considerations for parking, shade, electrical charging outlets, and an enclosed changing station all add to a comfortable, fun, and inclusive play experience for kids of all ages and abilities.

"From our perspective, we feel like we have been blessed to be a part of this great community-enhancing project," finishes Bol. "Charitable giving is a great way to give back and show our commitment to the people and places served by our projects in a long-lasting, meaningful way."

As seen in LASN magazine, March 2021.

img

Sign up for
LAWeekly newsletter. Get exclusive content today.