Surrey Downs Park has a long history of play. Over 50 years ago, the property was home to Surrey Downs Elementary School. As time went on, the property changed, eventually transferring to the City of Bellevue and becoming dedicated as a park. When the park was up for renovation in 2018, the community was excited to help develop a plan for the park—one of the first things on their list? A playground.
Playworld representative Northwest Playground Equipment, Inc., worked with the City and their Landscape Architect to create a playground where children are allowed an open-ended play experience, being able to climb up and around a series of cascading net platforms, walk across rope bridges, access lookout points perched high in the sky, and slide back down to the ground to start all over again. The playground is built right into the hillside, which includes ADA access all the way up to the highest point of the park with an accessible ramp that wheels onto the play structure. The hill even provides the perfect launching point for a zipline. Across from the school-age playground, there’s an area for swings with inclusive seats, as well as an early childhood playground built into and around a climbable turf mound.
While the park is open to the greater Bellevue community, it primarily serves the children and families in the Surrey Downs neighborhood overlooking the park—and the color palette shows it. The bright colors—chartreuse, orange, and aqua—were inspired by a mid-century color scheme, reflective of the era when this neighborhood was built. After all this time, play is still the focus of the property known as Surrey Downs Park.