While rather difficult to implement, manage and staff from a municipal standpoint, especially for a small town like Pittsboro, Adventure Playgrounds still seem like great fun. The idea developed in post WWII Europe when a playground designer observed that kids enjoyed playing more in the the dirt and scrap lumber from war rubble than they did in the "normal" playgrounds of the time. Not surprisingly, he found that kids like designing and building their own play structures given the opportunity. The creative mounds of sticks and sand throughout Kiwanis Park can attest to this fact. There are currently about 1000 adventure playgrounds in Europe but only a handful in the U.S.
Here's a link to an article that provides a great introduction:http://www.good.is/post/adventure-playgrounds/
and this one regarding an active adventure playground in CA:
I love how engaged these kids seem in this photo of a fort building project.