TX - River Oaks Park
Video features a restored decades-old carriage playground structure sent to Landscape Structures for safety improvements and entire playground update in Houston Texas.
[video: fade in on the playground sign reading: River Oaks Park, Acquired 1938. Camera switches to John Plumb a neighborhood dad as he speaks to the camera.]
John: This park is called River Oaks Park but everyone all the locals know it as Pumpkin Park.
John voiceover: Because of the pumpkin that has been the icon of his park for generations.
[video: full view of the refurbished Cinderella pumpkin carriage playground structure with PlayShaper and PlayBooster playgrounds behind it. Close-up of the Loop Arch climber leading up into the carriage playground structure. Camera switch to a young girl as she climbs up a climber with mouse Permalene panels onto the pumpkin carriage structure. Camera pulls back for a full side view of the pumpkin carriage structure as children climb inside.]
Susan voiceover: About a year or two ago Houston Parks and Recreation Department came to me and said we’d like to redo Pumpkin Park.
[video: angled view of the pumpkin carriage structure as children climb up into the pumpkin. Susan Cooley the President of Friends of River Oaks Park speaks to the camera.]
Susan: So, that all of the play equipment is up to code.
[video: Lisa Johnson who works in the General Services Department of City of Houston speaks to the camera.]
Lisa: The playground that was here was always well loved.
Lisa voiceover: And well used but it had kind of outgrown his useful life and needed to be replaced. And so, with the neighborhood committee we came together with the design team of a Lauren Griffith associates and worked on a plan for well over a year and from there things grew like the renovation of the pumpkin, the entry arch, the pergola, and the decking around the trees.
[video: slow zoom in on a still image of the old worn playground. Sideways pan on a still image of the old pumpkin carriage play structure. Side pan on a still image of the pumpkin carriage play structure as a Bob cat tractor lifts it out from its fenced in resting place. Image switch to the Bob cat moving the pumpkin carriage pas the River Oaks Park playground sign. Image switch to a group of people conversing in front of one of the old playground spiral slides. Camera switch back to Lisa as she continues to speak. Slow zoom in on an image of a full playground layout for the new park. Switch to a side view of the new renovated pumpkin carriage play structure. A woman enters a black metal gate with a pumpkin themed archway overhead. Camera switch to people sitting at benches beneath a pergola. Full view of the PlayShaper playground with overhanging oak trees.]
Susan voiceover: It is what’s called a high use park. People, families from all over the city come.
[video: two golden retriever dogs trot towards and past the camera. Two children smile with joy as they swing on the swing set.]
Lisa: We’ve always wanted to allow the kids to play on the pumpkin and we reached out to LSI.
[video: camera zooms in on a young girl as she climbs up the Loop Arch climbing onto the pumpkin carriage play structure. Two girls hang off a bar off the pumpkin carriage play structure. View of a young girl sitting on the carriage bench. Four girls sit inside the pumpkin carriage. Jonah Scholen a playground designer at Landscape Structures speaks to the camera.]
Jonah: The cool thing about the project was it, it was this thing from the forties that you know everybody loved.
Tom voiceover: Lauren Griffith associates a landscape architect firm down in Houston, started the project by sending us designs envisioning how the new pumpkin structure could look. They did a great job keeping the original integrity of the pumpkin and at the same time updating its looks as well as safety standards.
[video: downward pan over blueprint plans for the new pumpkin carriage play structure updates. Fade in to an animated image of what the final finished pumpkin carriage play structure. Switch to Tom speaking to the camera while sitting at his desk.]
[video: Mike Kronback a custom welder at Landscape Structures speaks to the camera.]
Mike voiceover: We made a plan to step-by-step-
Mike: remove the stuff that we needed-
Mike voiceover: and replace it with new form parts. I cut some of the sheeting off of the outside to replace it with some metal that would withstand another forty years.
[video: a man cuts away metal on the bottom of the pumpkin carriage. Sparks fly across the shop where he works. Camera zooms in as the man continues to cut the metal. Camera pulls back for a full view of the many as he continues to cut the metal. Camera switches to Mike speaking to the camera with the finished pumpkin carriage behind him. Camera switches to Mike cutting more metal. Switch to a man welding pieces of the pumpkin together. Camera zooms in on welder’s hand as they weld the metal wheels of the carriage. Two employees carry over the finished metal well of the carriage. Camera switches to a full front view of the finished unpainted carriage. Camera switches back to Jonah at his desk speaking to the camera.]
Jonah: We were all working together-
Jonah voiceover: we all went down there and stood in front of the actual carriage you know we had to make it fit standard so that meant putting in railings and putting on handholds and clocking a bunch of spots. But we could be creative about how we did that.
[video: several men stand at a work table looking at building plans next to the pumpkin carriage. One of the men measures something on the carriage. Camera close-up of the man’s hands as he measures a barrier on the carriage. Jonah tightens a clamp for a decorative piece on the carriage. Camera pulls back for a full side view of the unpainted carriage. Jonah positions a decorative swirly vine on the outside of the carriage barrier. Scene switch to an employee painting the carriage railings green with a spray gun. Camera switch to an employee as he paints a primer coat on the pumpkin part of the carriage.]
[video: camera switches back to the man painting the railings green, Camera switches back to the man as he begins to paint the pumpkin orange. Switch to a man walking behind hanging painted pieces of the pumpkin carriage. Camera switches back to the man finishing up painting the pumpkin orange.]
Mike voiceover: A fun project to work on, because it was out of the norm, it was more of an open slate.
[video: Mike fits one of the wheels onto the carriage. Camera close-up as he fastens the wheel to the carriage. Camera pulls back for a full side view of the carriage. Mike spins the wheel a few times ones he has attached it. Scene switch to a view of the entire park from the far corner of the surrounding fence. Top of the park entrance has a metal arch made up of pumpkin vines and a center pumpkin.]
Susan: The play equipment is just over the top. I mean everyone from far and wide, people who’d never heard of Pumpkin Park before are calling.
[video: a view of the pergola next to the pumpkin carriage and PlayBooster playground. Close-up of the pumpkin painted tiles on the entry to the park pillars. Wide view of a large oak tree hanging over the PlayBooster playground. Switch to John as he speaks to the camera.]
John: I think it has definitely been a blessing to the neighborhood and al the surrounding neighborhoods.
[video: John climbs upon the pumpkin carriage structure to stand by his daughter.]
Mike voiceover: I honestly think it was a privilege to work on this project. Because it was something that you don’t see all the time it’s a one-of-a-kind thing and to be able to put my touch on it is awesome.
[video: Mike works on the carriage wheels in the entryway of a large garage door. Camera close-up as Mike slides the carriage wheel onto its axel. Camera pans across the two front wheels of the carriage. Camera pans across the railings of the carriage with decretive pumpkin vines and leaves. Camera pulls back for a full view of the carriage sitting the work shop. Camera switches back to Susan speaking to the camera.]
Susan: Everyone was so excited that our-
Susan voiceover: children and grandchildren will now get to play on the pumpkin that we all grew up playing on.
[video: Susan sits inside the pumpkin with two children. Susan leans over to tuck the hair of a young girls face behind her ears. Camera switches back to Mike talking to the camera.]
Mike: What keeps me at LSI you know is the mentality of inspiring children’s lives.
[video: three girls sit inside the pumpkin looking out posing for a photo. A young girl speaks to the camera while sitting inside the pumpkin.]
Girl: I like the pumpkin because you can pretend that you’re in the movie Cinderella.
Girl 2: I love that they have the little mushrooms for like step stones.
Girl 3: Everybody can play with it, not just one. It doesn’t belong to just one person it belongs to everybody.
[video: fade in to John sitting with his daughter and son next to the pumpkin carriage, fade out. Fade in as Susan spins a young girl wearing fairy wings in front of the pumpkin carriage. As she spins animated stars and sparkles begin to surround the young girl. A fairy wand emerges from the sparkles, the screen slowly fades to black. The wand because larger while flying across the screen reveling the Landscape Structures logo. Text below the logo reads: Better playgrounds, better world. The wand slides off screen as glitter continues to float around.]