Crafting a creative multi-generational playground experience

The award winning multigenerational playground offers 20,000 sq. ft. of play: the NEOS play area, the 5-12 year old play are in the middle and the tot-trike area to the left. Behind the playground is a looped asphalt path that connects the park elements. This playground design approach had not been tried in the local area.

The journey to transform Bremen Heights Park in Midlothian, a small suburb of 10,000 residents only 17 miles southwest of Chicago, began in 2006 after Design Perspectives, Inc. had successfully completed another Midlothian community park.

The 13-acre Bremen Heights Park, home to the Don Preston Recreation Center, was a high priority to receive a complete renovation. Its traditional park elements had little recreational value and also suffered from vandalism. The park district had constructed a small skate park in the park years ago, but did not entice the broad range of children and adolescents. A fresh, creative design approach was needed.

After securing a $326,830 matching grant from the Illinois Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program, master planning and public input began with the idea to go beyond the static playground experience. The goal for the new 20,000 square foot playground was activities for children of all ages and break the traditional mode of thinking about playgrounds.

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