Shady Lane Park Opens in Houston TX With Amazing New Playspace

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Themed play space promote heritage in a playful, family oriented way.

Shady Way Park in Houston

Last week marked the grand opening of Shady Lane Park, in Houston, TX, an event that capped off the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Congress. The project was collaboration between NRPA, PlayCore, the City of Houston, TX, and other partners and advocates. Shady Way Park had been in need of an upgrade, since damage caused from Tropical Storm Allison dumped almost 2 feet of water on the area, flooding the park and neighboring homes. It featured an older playground that showed heavy signs of use, though it was still enjoyed by the many families in the area who came to the park for its walkability and proximity to their neighborhood.

Today, the park is an amazing example of a new type of playground - imaginative, themed "PlayWorx" custom play spaces, where equipment takes on a whole new look, and can honor a community’s heritage or simply spark imaginations through sculpted, playable structures. PlayWorx spaces can look like a pirate ship, a castle, a dragon, or anything at all that a community can envision. Combining familiar play elements like slides and climbers with the sculpted elements, Shady Lane Park’s PlayWorx promoted the history of Houston in its pre-settlement days to with themed play, interpretive signage, and imaginative design. The park features a combination of elements, including restorative green space, an education center, water play areas, and active, playful recreation. It includes play structures shaped like tree houses, a life-size bayou boat set in a planted mini wetland, huge logs to crawl through, fanciful alligators to climb on, and a spray park that features a little bit of all of the above. Interpretive signage throughout the park shows images and shares history of the landscape, animals, and indigenous plants found in these pre-settlement days. A blue pathway, designed to resemble water, meanders through all of the features beckoning families to experience all the park has to offer.

PlayCore was pleased to participate in the project along with its GameTime division, (which creates and manufactures PlayWorx designs), as it is a perfect example of what results when best practice design is married with imaginative product, to create a special space that promotes the company’s vision of "Building Community Through Play". Today, Shady Lane Park is an amazing example of how a well-designed playground can be a teaching tool, a family oasis, and a connection to the history that creates pride of place in a community.

About PlayCore:

PlayCore helps build stronger communities around the world by advancing play through research, programs, and partnerships. We infuse this learning into our complete family of brands.

We combine best in class planning and education programs with the most comprehensive array of recreation products available to create solutions that match the unique needs of each community we serve.

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Anne-Marie Spencer
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