This park site will be unlike any other play space in Houston. Built along the slope of Buffalo Bayou, the play area contains features intended to inspire a love of nature within children. The 28,000-square foot area was designed by SWA Group with assistance from North Carolina State University’s Natural Learning Initiative (NLI), which specializes in creating places for play, learning, and environmental education.
All along the bayou there are opportunities to enjoy and embrace nature, but this space will be dedicated to our youngest park users where they can engage and enjoy the outdoors. Features of the nature play area include:
- boulder rock scramble;
- rolling lawn;
- stream and waterfall;
- climbing logs and stones;
- sand and water play zone;
- picnic pavilion; and
- 33’ slide
The most compelling component will be a tri-level tree house with climbing net (drawing above). SWA landscape architect Scott McCready explains, “Designing on a sloping bayou bank was an interesting challenge but the result is an incredible space… a great ‘starting’ point for young kids getting their first bayou experience.”
Thanks to the Ray C. Fish Foundation’s $1 million gift, the play area and picnic pavilion are expected to be complete in June 2015. Details about a tree house naming contest and opening festivities are coming soon.