Active Playground Concepts Displayed for Future Construction

Youngster Navigates the Bridge Crossing


A display of simple playground equipment was hosted by Radian and Lamar Parks and Recreation this past Saturday, October 27th east of the ballfields near Savage Avenue.

Crawl Tube, Bridge, Tower and Tree Climbing, All in One

The equipment, according to Rachel Hultin of Radian Company, was designed from ideas contributed during the Lamar community’s “Inspired Play” from this past August during the grand opening of Wheels Park at Willow Creek Park. The ideas were re-created to life size to test for fun, fitness, and for connecting kids to nature and were put to use this past Saturday during a public display.  The funding for the project comes from the state’s Inspire Project grant which is also funding other projects in Lamar such as the Lamar Loop.

Hultin explained what Radian developed from the suggestions, “We incorporated four different elements including ground-play, a treehouse tower to let kids learn how to climb, the canopy bridge which has been nicknamed the ‘wiggly worm’ bridge and the tower with a mini rock climbing wall…” She said there’s also a parent seating area included as young kids will tend to play more and stay longer when there’s accommodations for mom and dad…different skill levels for different ages, incorporate imagination into play areas.  From the general plans, the play can develop into various games and competitions for kids of all ages, and incorporates difference challenge abilities.

“I’ve already seen a young child hesitate at first crossing the bridge to the tower, but it wasn’t very long afterward that she developed a little more confidence and really enjoys it,” she added. Hultin said that the older children will also help the younger ones become accustomed to using the equipment.  Part of the design incorporates the suggestion that the kids can make use of nature as a playground wherever they go.

Hultin and Ken Snyder, programming director for Radian arrived at the area early Saturday morning and spent a couple of hours unloading the trailer and assembling the equipment, aided by Kendra Buchanan, Lamar Chamber President, who is also newly employed by the City of Lamar as an events project coordinator, headquartered at the Parks and Recreation Department.

Snyder said they will observe what pieces of equipment are used most by the youngsters and from that, they can make modifications that fit their preferences. There were 32 community members who contributed their ideas for the playground area during the August dedication at Willow Creek Park which will be the site for the new playground once it’s finally constructed.

By Russ Baldwin


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