Based on student and community input, Convene’s work with Highland Park Elementary has set a new precedent for natural play in the Seattle School District. The future playground incorporates natural play elements such as a log scramble, boulder climb, outdoor classroom areas, digging areas, rain gardens, and generous plantings of native species. The District agreed to treat our design as a pilot-project that, if successful, could eventually be replicated elsewhere.
Convene, along with Outdoor Classroom Design and Earthplay Design, worked with Highland Park PTA to develop a plan that re-imagines Highland Park Elementary’s playground. The team worked with several classrooms to engage students in art and math lessons focused on the playground design. A series of community meetings and workshops that included parents, teachers, and students helped identify priorities and develop design ideas. The process identified a strong interest in bringing natural play into a playground that is currently predominantly asphalt.
The first phase was complete in 2017, and the team is now working on implementing Phase 2.
This project was completed under the Pomegranate Center while Convene Principal Eric Higbee was its Design and Executive Directors.
Highland Park PTA/Seattle School District
EarthPlay (Co-Design), Outdoor Classroom Desing (Co-Design) Lund Opshal (Strucutral Engineer)