Tiny Town Square

Creating a Custom Community

Tiny Town Square

Turkey Thicket Recreation Center

Washington, D.C.

As one of several playground projects taking place across Washington, D.C., at the same time, each park location required its own theme. Turkey Thicket Recreation Center is nestled among several residential communities, so it was given a village and transportation theme, complete with mountains, train tracks, flowing streams and interconnected roadways.

Playground products shown in video may not be appropriate for every age group. Playsystems shown in video are for demonstration purposes only. Product configurations may vary.

A Collaborative Effort

Isaac Sparks, a Landscape Structures playground consultant, worked closely with designers from Landscape Structures to create this custom little community. “We pulled images from Google,” explains Isaac of Sparks@Play. “And we looked at what Landscape Structures has done in the past with custom transportation and village themes.”

In the end, they created a unique main street area, complete with a well-stocked farmer’s market. A fully customized train heads through a mountain tunnel. Kids can climb the mountainsides, scamper across the bridge, then climb over, across and into the train itself.

"We were so fortunate to be part of this great collaborative process that involved Landscape Structures and a really visionary client."Stephanie SparksSparks@Play

According to Isaac, "This is the highest percentage of custom we've done with Landscape Structures. Nothing is standard except for the Oodle® Swing, OmniSpin® Spinner and a couple of Saddle Spinners.”

Landscaped Play

Isaac worked with Dan Dove, a landscape architect at Studio 39, to incorporate a significant grade change into the playground. They created berms, covered the area in synthetic grass and installed a rope climber, a roller climber, a slide and log steppers for an energetic circuit of free-form play.

"This created a natural element to the village, kind of like the outskirts of town," explains Isaac. Dan adds, "It gives kids in an urban area a chance to play king of the mountain and roll down the hills."

Fun for All

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Fun for All

The Turkey Thicket Recreation Center playground is ADA accessible and features two playstructures, one for ages 2- to 5- years and the other for ages 5- to 12- years. A slight separation between the two playstructures affords a cohesive appearance in overall theme and design.

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Where the Villagers Gather

"Opening day was NOT warm, but a lot of kids turned out to play anyway. That was pretty impressive."Isaac SparksSparks@Play

Today, with a brand new middle school nearby and several elementary schools within walking distance, Turkey Thicket Recreation Center has become an extremely popular meeting spot right after school and while kids wait to begin a program at the nearby recreation and aquatic center.

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