Frame Park in Waukesha, Wisconsin is the first National Demonstration Site to be awarded four designations. This signature city park will allow the community to enjoy an outdoor adult fitness space and an inclusive playground that offers the six elements of play in a naturalized setting.
“We make a concerted effort to find ways to better respond to the community’s needs, especially when it comes to health and wellness,” according to City of Waukesha Parks, Recreation & Forestry (WPRF) Director Ron Grall. When proposed with the idea of becoming a National Demonstration Site, they gladly accepted the challenge. Out of the 30 playgrounds in the park system, they chose Frame Park to be the site for this project, as it is heavily-used and recognizable by the community and regional area. As the department reviewed the NDS designation options, they found it difficult to leave anything on the table as they each can offer unique benefits to the community in a variety of ways. The team reached out to Minnesota Wisconsin Playgrounds of Minneapolis, MN, to make their dreams come true. As a team trained in National Demonstration Site design, Minnesota Wisconsin was thrilled to be a part of the project.
Once extensive equipment plans were formalized with the NDS goals in mind, decisions needed to be made regarding the disposition of their existing playground equipment. Waukesha identified a way to bring the “joy of play” to communities in need by partnering with the Kids Around the World (KAW) program. KAW “harvested” and refurbished the old playground equipment with the end goal of relocating to a poverty-stricken area of the world. Following the playground “harvest”, WPRF held a “community build” September 3-5 with 182 community volunteers participating to bring their new space to life! The new play and fitness space also features a fully accessible poured-in-place rubber surfacing.
Grand Opening is scheduled for September 18, 2019 from 5-7 PM (CDT). Each National Demonstration Site designation area will be hosting individual activities, NatureGrounds will have a tree planting, DJ entertainment, community picnic, and tree identification; Outdoor Adult Fitness will have personal trainer sessions demonstrating safety tips and how to use the equipment; Inclusion and Play On! playground will have game sessions utilizing activities found in 2Play Together and Play On! to show families and the community how they can best utilize the play space. Waukesha plans to continue to program the space by adding the activity books to their public library for community use and will host a personal trainer session once a month from September to November.
Frame Park Playground-Fitness area is recognized as a project of excellence meeting the National Demonstration Site design criteria for inclusion, outdoor adult fitness, nature integration, and youth physical activity, and honored for their outstanding commitment and leadership to providing such a high-quality play and recreation destination.