News

Brookwood Forest Elementary Opens Ranger Park

November 26, 2018

President Theodore Roosevelt once said that play is a fundamental need, so much so that playgrounds should be provided for every child, just as schools are. And “all work and no play,” it has been noted, is not the approach schools should be taking.

The American Pediatric Association has recommended that children get 60 minutes of open-ended play daily. So, it stands to reason that play should be a vital part of the daily school routine. Thanks to its new interactive playground that opened this year, children at Brookwood Forest Elementary might be reluctant to leave when the bell rings.

Play helps children develop emotionally, physically, socially and cognitively, and spaces created for the purpose of play contribute to a child’s well-being. Students at Birmingham’s Brookwood Forest Elementary are fortunate that these goals are being achieved through Ranger Park, described as “a place to play, learn and grow together.”

Covering 15,000 square feet, Ranger Park was built on the footprint of the grade school’s former playground. It features enlarged courts for various sports, a rain garden, a climbing dome and other climbing structures, a multipurpose pavilion, a large rubber-surface play area, along with music play and sensory play.

The $350,000 park installation was designed by Birmingham-based Macknally Land Design and brought to fruition by Blackjack Horticulture, also based in Birmingham. The Parent Teacher Organization of Brookwood Forest Elementary came up with the idea to redesign the school’s playground two years ago. Landscape architect Lea Ann Macknally joined the project and and Blackjack Horticulture was brought in to administer it.

An added touch to the park is the work of local mural and multi-media artist Merrilee Challliss, who painted energizing designs in vibrant colors on the asphalt areas for hopscotch, four square and long jump.

“After 11 weeks, there was nothing more rewarding than seeing the kids’ joy and excitement as they ran across the playground,” says Blackjack Horticulture President Bryan Word. “It was a tremendous honor to bring Brookwood Forest’s vision to life and give back to our community in this way.”

 

 

Image 1 – The $350,000 park installation was designed by Birmingham-based Macknally Land Design and brought to fruition by Blackjack Horticulture. Landscape architect Lea Ann Macknally joined the project and then Blackjack Horticulture was brought in to administer it.

Image 2 – Ranger Park features the work of local mural and multi-media artist Merrilee Challliss, who painted bold designs in vibrant colors on the asphalt areas for such games as hopscotch, four square and long jump.

Image 3 – Ranger Park was built on the footprint of the grade school’s former playground and includes enlarged courts for a variety of sports, a rain garden, a climbing dome and other climbing structures.

Image 4 – Also in the new park are a multipurpose pavilion, a large rubber-surface play area, along with opportunities for music and sensory play.

*Article Written By Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of MackNally Land Design and Blackjack Horticulture.