Monday, August 31, 2009

Small St. Oak at Kiwanis Park - Update

I wrote a month ago about planning to incorporate the Small Street Oak into natural playground features at The Town of Pittsboro’s Kiwanis Park. Well, the slabs are in place and the kids seem to love them. The slabs are connected by a series of cedar steppers, creating an inviting path down the length of the park. When the slabs were first cut I called them 'lily pads' and the name kind of stuck, but the little fellow in the red shirt insists that if you slip off you fall into lava. Needless to say, they leave lots of room for imaginative unstructured play.

Stopping to enjoy the flowers. Note the curved walnut bench in the background.

Follow the leader!

Other wooden pieces from the Small Street trees include two walnut benches and a white oak car all crafted by yours truly. The walnut bench is barely visible behind the car in the following photo.

Vroom, Vroom; kiddos on the car. I'll install steering wheels at some point.

Two other curved walnut benches were crafted by Leslie Booker and her crew from Booker Garden Design. One bench curves around the boulder area and the other surrounds the sandbox closest to the road. Both take advantage of natural curves in the tree to mesh with the sinuous curves of the lower park. One more piece is expected from the walnut which will replace a broken spring rider.

The walnut bench and logs follow the curve of the boulder play area.

Feedback so far has been very positive. Come by and see for yourself!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Clyde Critter at Kiwanis Park!

I’m honored to announce that The Town of Pittsboro Kiwanis Park is now host to a unique play-sculpture by Clyde Jones of Bynum, NC. Clyde's Critters have traveled the world from the Smithsonian Museum to China, Peru, Africa and beyond. The nationally acclaimed artist remains a wonderful down to earth guy who hasn’t let stardom get to his head. He was excited to provide a piece for the “youngins” to ride on and appreciate, carving it on-site out of a huge piece of cedar donated by local carpenter Jeff Gannon. I’m thrilled about how nicely the critter turned out and it was certainly fascinating to watch Mr. Jones work! I was like a kid in a candy store. This is truly the capstone to the Summer of 2009 Kiwanis Park Renovation. Thank you again for your generosity Clyde; your critter will bring smiles to tons of kids for many years to come.

First cut.
Getting close. . .
Adding the sunflower eyes.

Finished Critter - I love it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Value of Parks & Recreation Redux

I ran across this and felt it worthy of passing on. It was produced by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

By Richard J. Dolesh, Monica Hobbs

Vinluan and Michael Phillips

Public parks and recreation offers countless value to our citizens and to our country. As advocates and supporters of parks and recreation who live these values every day, we may sometimes take the uncounted benefits of parks and recreation for granted. So we don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees, every once in awhile it is useful to remind ourselves of these basic values and reaffirm their essential worth.

The following “top 10” list of park and recreation values is in no particular order; rather, it encompasses the range of why we collectively believe that public parks and recreation is an essential part of our national heritage:

1. Public parks provide millions of Americans with the opportunity to be physically active.

2. Parks have true economic benefits.

3. Parks provide vital green space in a fast-developing American landscape, and provide vegetative buffers to construction and development, thus reducing the effects of sprawl.

4. Parks preserve critical wildlife habitat.

5. Parks and recreation facilitate social interactions that are critical to maintaining community cohesion and pride.

6. Leisure activities in parks improve moods, reduce stress and enhance a sense of wellness.

7. Recreational programs provide organized, structured, enjoyable activities for all ages.

8. Community recreation services provide a refuge of safety for at-risk youth.

9. Therapeutic recreation is an outlet that individuals with disabilities have to be physically active, socially engaged and cognitively stimulated.

10. Public parks embody the American tradition of preserving public lands for the benefit and use of all.

Contact NRPA for more information.

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