PlayCore Credits G.E. Fielder & Associates for Design of Clemyjontri Park

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Landscape Architect’s vision and goals realized in creating park for children of all abilities.

Photo courtesy of Dolphin Technologies

We developed a total of 27 different play concepts, beyond the typical playground experience and distributed them throughout four “rooms” in the space, so that children had new opportunities and ways to play in each area.

PlayCore has the opportunity to meet some amazing people who share their dedication to building communities through play. One, Grace Fielder of G.E. Fielder & Associates, is the landscape architect responsible for designing Clemyjontri Park, one of CondeNast’s top 10 playgrounds in the world.

Fielder and her team take a unique approach to each project they design, and when envisioning what the space at Clemyjontri could be, they imagined a space where children and families of all abilities could play together, while developing cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. Says Fielder, “we knew the space would be used by children with a variety of disabilities, and that something as simple as color could become an opportunity to learn and grow. We developed a total of 27 different play concepts, beyond the typical playground experience and distributed them throughout four “rooms” in the space, so that children had new opportunities and ways to play in each area.”

The Rainbow Room is a great example. Fielder explains, “We knew from our research work that children with disabilities can be attracted to or bothered by certain colors. By creating color patterns throughout the surfacing, we wanted to offer children opportunities to interact with the colors they are comfortable with, but also provide opportunities to reach outside the comfort level to try other colors, if so moved.” Added Fielder. “The rainbow arch provides a similar exercise in color, where children pass under the rainbow colored arches to get from one end to the other.” The room also features learning opportunities on color, in the form of a panel that teaches the color principle of the rainbow, commonly abbreviated as Roy G Biv. The sign also features braille and sign language interpretations. In the “School Room” colors are reintroduced as part of a color wheel, this way learning continues and is reinforced while just playing and being a kid. Simply put, kids have fun learning.

When laying out the park, Fielder and her team developed an overall master plan for the space, in addition to the playground elements. A central carousel anchors the four rooms of the play area, and easily navigable paths lead to other areas, or rooms, including the Rainbow Room, the Schoolhouse (which repeats the color theme,) the transportation area, (with a fun “drag strip!”) and the fitness area, (dedicated to promoting movement and physical activity.) The overall park provides people with opportunities to interact with nature, to gather, and to enjoy the beauty that surrounds them.

Fielder adds that one of the most exciting things to result from the park are the amazing stories on the internet and in the press about families who play there, especially from parents of children with special needs, who are able to play in ways that had not been possible before the play space at Clemyjontri and the difference it makes in their lives. When it opened in October of 2007, no one knew that 5 years later it would have an annual attendance of nearly 200,000. That’s a lot of play going on.

PlayCore agrees that when a community has the opportunity to experience a well designed, meaningful play space, it can be life changing, and applauds the dedication of G.E. Fielder & Associates for envisioning such a space at Clemyjontri Park.

About PlayCore
PlayCore helps build stronger communities around the world by advancing play through research, education, and partnerships. The company infuses this learning into its complete family of brands. PlayCore combines best in class planning and education programs with the most comprehensive array of recreation products available to create play solutions that match the unique needs of the each community they serve. Learn more at

About G.E Fielder
G.E. Fielder & Associates (GEF) provide municipal planning, land use planning, site planning, master planning, landscape architecture, and environmental services. Built on integrity, GEF takes pride in the quality of its products. Their products are environmentally sensitive, buildable, and cost effective. Diversely skilled, GEF tackles multifaceted projects and provides services to public and private sector clients throughout Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Delaware. public on current industry

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Anne-Marie Spencer
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Anne Marie Spencer
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