November 30, 2010
Last week we had what I’ll call an ice storm in Anchorage. The street in front of my house had enough ice on it that we could have skated… and I wanted to, but before we could get the motivation to get out there in the dark to try it, the snow started to fall (obscuring the ruts and ridges). A missed opportunity!
Search online for “Winter Play” or “Winter Playground” and you’ll get some images of snow covered play equipment, or perhaps a ski area someplace in Vermont. While there’s nothing really stopping us from playing on slides and play equipment in the winter (schoolgrounds definitely get used during recess), it seems like our public parks transition from activity on the playgrounds, to activity around them: skiing, snowball fights, building snowmen and snow forts, and kids snowboarding on the smallest slope (spending a lot of time walking back up to the top).
In cold climates, we embrace winter to varying extents, and success seems to lie in either providing facilities for the most common individual or small group activities (i.e. skiing), or programming to encourage people to get out and about. In a previous post, we highlighted the Fairbanks World Ice Art Championships. This is a successful example of truly embracing our winter climate, but it’s also labor intensive and requires money to get in the gates.
We know how we like to design to encourage people to get out and enjoy winter, but we’re more interested in how you get out to play… or the things you’ve seen that really celebrate the possibilities of winter. Please comment below and share with us!!!
|…poor lonely play equipment…|
|Swings are always fun.|
|Fun on hills without grass stains.|