Innovation Hills Playground

The project
Spalding DeDecker (SD) provided design and construction engineering services for the Recreation Area at Innovation Hills. The project included small and large timber shelters, innovative play equipment surrounded by appropriate safety surfaces, and numerous accessible paths leading to picnic tables and other amenities. The project also included water tables which drain to a concrete scale model of the Clinton River, reflecting the actual shape of the river within the City limits. Reinforced turf is designed along the model river, promoting frequent play access to this feature.

The playground was designed with all abilities in mind, keeping the color scheme natural, and separated play spaces, allowing children with sensory concerns to be comfortable. A fence with open-in safety gates surrounds the play area, providing an initial barrier for children of all ages who may have impulses to run.

SD’s work included site design for fine grading, play structures, play surfaces, paved pathways, and the surrounding fence and safety gates. We assisted with the bidding process, conducted a pre-construction meeting, and provided construction engineering and inspection services.

The Challenge
From project conception, the City wanted to achieve a ‘wow’ factor with this park, and assure it became notable among the widespread surrounding communities. As construction began, it was noted that the entrance to the park was unimpressive compared to the outstanding amenities within the sites.

The Solution
Spalding DeDecker compiled idea boards showing a variety of potential design concepts to create a showable entrance. Once the City shared their preferences, we approached a specific designer/manufacturer to create the custom entrance piece showing off the nature theme of the park.

The Impact
Innovation Hills Playground project is expected to significantly impact the community. The playground focuses on accessibility and provides play pieces for all ages and abilities, including several caregiver seating options.