A New Way to Play

Updated play equipment comes to Boone Park South

boone-park-south-playground-600Riverside resident Kim Clontz is a frequent visitor to the neighborhood’s historic Boone Park. Her visits became especially frequent in recent years while home-schooling her two daughters. Her visits to other big cities were frequent, too, and she took her daughters to playgrounds in each one.
“As we were traveling, we were blown away by the type of playgrounds we saw in cities such as San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, and in Europe. They are modern in design, challenging, interesting and capture the attention of a much wider range of kids, not just those under twelve,” she says. “Plus, they are just fun!”
Clontz began to envision updates to her hometown park. In 2015, she approached Pamela Tellis with Friends of Boone Park South about the idea to renovate Boone South’s playground, and Tellis was supportive. Tellis put Clontz in touch with local architect Richard Skinner, who designed and raised funds for the playground we see today back in 1995.
Skinner, whose enthusiasm for park design, specifically European-style playgrounds, came from his world travels as well, gave the renovation idea his blessing. Skinner suggested Clontz meet with the City of Jacksonville Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. As it turns out, the timing was fortuitous: she learned that Boone Park South’s existing playground equipment was on the chopping block – to be replaced within the next two years because it no longer meets Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design, or general safety standards and boone-south-openrequirements. Clontz asked if extra community funding would make it possible to replace the equipment with “something different, long-lasting and that would attract a wider range of children and include exercise equipment for adults.” The City said “yes.”
In another fortuitous moment, Clontz discovered that a friend, Stacy Moseley, was working for Kompan, an innovative global playground manufacturer. “I suddenly realized that Kompan was the company that had designed the playground equipment I had been taking pictures of for the past two years! We decided it was kismet and we had to work together on Boone Park,” says Clontz.
Moseley, a Jacksonville native, played in Boone Park as a child, and her interest in playgrounds became a profession. “My interest in playgrounds [has] led me literally all over the world, exploring different approaches to designing for play,” says Moseley. “I cut my teeth on climbing our huge local magnolia trees and have sought out exciting play experiences ever since.”

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Author: Arbus

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