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Farm Theme Distinguishes the Normandy Farms Playground

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Farm Theme Distinguishes the Normandy Farms Playground

By Lynn Pinoniemi, Landscape Structures, Inc., Delano, Minn., and Jodie Carter, LASN regional editor

The swinging panels on the playground tower are decorated with Holstein cows peering over a barn door, emphasizing the “farm” theme.

Everyone remembers their favorite childhood playground where you’d invariably find your neighborhood pals spinning themselves dizzy on a merry-go-round colored like a roulette wheel, or hiding out like commando renegades in a small wooden tower. Today’s playgrounds have evolved considerably, but one thing remains the same; when you want a playground to become the place to play, a destination spot for kids from miles around, build your playground around a theme.

Five large slides, including a twin-bed Gemini slide, a 360-degree Turbo Twister Tunnel Slide and a Double Swoosh Slide, are integrated into the barn-themed play structure. Three large octagonal decks serve as gathering points for kids, one of which is capped by a custom-made silo-shaped roof. (right side) A larger PlayBooster play system for children ages 5-12 features a brilliant red barn complete with crowing rooster and Holstein cow.

That’s what Al Daniels was thinking when he chose O’Brien and Sons to build his showcase playground at Normandy Farms Resort in the town of Foxboro, MA. The Daniels family began farming this land more than 200 years ago, but in 1972 they decided to create a campground on the site to bring in extra income. Today, Normandy Farms is one of the largest and most successful family camping resorts in North America. Amenities abound, including a golf course, recreation center, swimming pools, fishing and on site craft classes. To reinforce the heritage of the 100-acre site, Al and Doris Daniels chose to build their new playground with a farm theme. “We generally don’t do things half way,” said Daniels. “And this project was no different. We wanted our new playground to be something that kids will remember, something that will keep the kids and their moms and dads coming back to Normandy Farms. O’Brien and Sons and Landscape Structures had the vision to design a completely unique playground for us – one that we were sure kids had never seen in their city park or at their school. I think we accomplished that with this farm theme.” from O’Brien & Sons, the Massachusetts representative for Landscape Structures, spearheaded the project, which relied on custom-designed architectural elements to capture the look and feeling of a farm. First the 85 ft. by 150 ft. site was divided into two age-appropriate play areas. Next, they set about creating the visual elements of a farmyard.

Close-up of the red barn complete with a crowing rooster in the loft. The play structure is dominated by red and green colors that not only reinforce the farm theme, but are the perfect complement to the surrounding trees.

A tractor constructed from extremely durable Permalene became the focal point of the play area for younger children. Custom-made tractor dashboard panels further reinforced the farm machinery theme. While store panels and talk tubes set the stage for interactive play. A larger PlayBooster playsystem for children ages 5-12 features a brilliant red barn roof complete with a crowing rooster in the loft and a cow peering over the barn door. The play structure is dominated by the red and green colors that not only reinforce the farm theme, but also are the perfect complement to the surrounding trees. Exceptional play value was created by integrating five large slides into the perimeter of the play structure, including a twin-bed Gemini slide, a 360-degree Turbo Twister Tunnel Slide and a Double Swoosh Slide. Three large octagonal decks serve as gathering points for kids, one of which is capped by a custom-made silo-shaped roof.

A green tractor constructed from extremely durable Permalene became the focal point of the play area for younger children. Custom-made tractor dash-board panels further reinforced the farm machinery theme. While store panels and talk tubes set the stage for interactive play.

According to Daniels the playground has been a huge hit with kids and parents alike ever since they opened the play area on Labor Day weekend. “The sheer size and magnitude of the playground and the appeal of the farm theme have really kept our new play area busy,” says Daniels. “Kids love the challenging selection of play events that we included, and we’re noticing that parents seem to really enjoy watching the kids play. This spring we plan to add lighting, extra seating, and a pair of gazebos adjacent to the play area. We wanted a playground that would encourage our customers to come back again, and I would certainly say that we’ve achieved that.” ––––––––– Landscape Structures is a leading designer and manufacturer of commercial playground equipment, skate parks, site furnishings (picnic tables, benches, trash receptacles), shade structures and protective surfacing. The company has installed more than 50,000 playgrounds worldwide.