Why theme your playspace?

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drove me all over the place,” Gentry said, which helped her know the community she was designing for. “It may sound corny, but play design is not an analytical process, but a heart thing. I am an artist and a grandmother, and that helps shape my work.” The playground doesn’t have slides or swings, and Gentry said one adult who saw it remarked, “There’s nothing to do here.” That person may have forgotten what it’s like to be a child, she said. “One of the problems with some playgrounds is that they are too prescriptive, but the playground at The Summit at Fritz Farm gives children a chance for their imaginations to bubble up,” Gentry said. “I was ecstatic that the Bayer people got that. They understood that play is child-led. I sat at a playground here in Atlanta one time with lots of fabulous equipment and watched as the kids instead ran up a hill and rolled down, over and over.” What The Summit at Fritz Farm play area does have is a tunnel and


berms, a wooden tractor and animals carved out of wood, a robin’s nest and bridge, plus much more. “They have these fabulous old tractors on the property, but they are not safe for children to play on, and they are cordoned off,” she said. But knowing children would want to play on a tractor, Gentry designed a child-size wooden one, and the installation team built it.” Gentry designed the playground to give young visitors to The Summit at Fritz Farm a fun experience, designed just for them. “As a business decision, providing the play area gives people another reason to visit,” she said. “Bayer has taken what could be just a shopping mall and given the community a place that can be a part of their lives.”

The Summit at Fritz Farm playground at a glance:

The space: A playground similarly shaped to home plate on a baseball diamond, with a base of 64 feet, two straight sides of 29 feet and two angles sides of 46 feet The features include: • A miniature barn • Wooden farm equipment • An arbor tunnel • A bridge • A grassy berm with a crawlthrough tunnel • “Loose parts” that children can use to build with • Adirondack chair seating, including an oversized chair • An oversized robin’s nest


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