The Kendra Page Nature Playscape, one of only a handful in Austin, is complete! The park adopter team at Kendra Page was awarded our 2020 Fall ACL Festival Community Grant after applying to create a nature playscape, a play environment that consists of elements and textures from the earth such as tree logs, tree stumps, and a nature trail that encompasses the heavily forested area within the park.
In Spring of 2021 the Texas Conservation Corps was hired to build out the trail that was designed by the park adopter. Once approved, Austin Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry did some invasive plant removal and created mulch to complete the trail. Volunteers from our Austin Parks Foundation sponsors, Advanced Micro Devices and McGuire Moorman Lambert Hospitality helped to mulch the trail and plant native tree saplings in December 2021 and January 2022.
During this time, APF worked with Unity Contractors to procure logs and stumps. This was not an easy task and involved a lot of coordination. Ulises Jimenez, our main contact with Unity, worked with his arborist teams to come through with amazing, high quality logs and stumps. These pieces are used to create a play area with natural materials instead of using the traditional steel playground structure.
Once all the logs were delivered this Spring, everything was ready for installation. Eischen General Contractors were able to complete the install in just one week, which involved securing some pieces with in-ground concrete as anchors. In June 2022, a group of volunteers were able to complete the job with mulching and sealing. The result of this project is an inviting space that compliments the traditional playground nearby.
Nature Play has been identified as a priority for Austin residents in the Parks Department’s Long Range Plan. APF is working in partnership with PARD’s Cities Connecting Children to Nature initiative to bring more nature play, green infrastructure, and nature-based programming to parks across Austin, particularly where there might be a lack of access to these opportunities.