Destination Park Combines Adventure & Social

September 22, 2014

South Lea McKeighan Park
Lee’s Summit, MO
November, 2013

Berliner, Sportrock and Burke product lines

What was the ultimate vision for the park?

Early in the planning phase a decision was made to return South Lea McKeighan Park to a more traditional neighborhood park with walking trails, a park shelter, playground, restrooms and open play areas.

With its highly visible location, the park needed to be very dynamic and appealing, making it more of a destination than just a traditional playground – a place that would attract both residents and visitors to Lee’s Summit.

The plan, approved by the Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation Board, called for a complete renovation of the park, giving special attention to developing a unique one-of-a-kind adventure playground.

How was a “destination” park created?

Berliner Cloud 9 accessible swing

The Berliner Cloud 9 is an accessible swing that allows several children at one time to “fly on a cloud.”

The staff found the community was trending away from the popular “nature play” approach and traditional “post and deck” model to more modern alternatives that challenged both the physical and problem solving capabilities of all age groups.

The contemporary edgy equipment from Berliner offered these challenges while the site plan for the areas outside of the use zones addressed more organic elements allowing children to interact with nature.

A meandering dry stream bed through the playground and use of plant materials in landscape areas also gave the playground an oasis-in-the-park feel.

What sets this park apart?

30-foot high metal-framed pyramid

30-foot high metal-framed pyramid

The centerpiece of the playground, the Jupiter XXL by Berliner, is a 30-foot-high metal-framed pyramid with intertwined climbing nets. The customized tower pyramid offers children the opportunity to climb safely to the peak of the structure from ground level and then navigate down via a curved slide attachment, climb back down or link onto a suspension bridge attached to a smaller net climbing structure.

70-foot Speedway zip line

Zoom from one side to the other using the 70-foot “Speedway” zip line.

Other Berliner play pieces that complement the large structure include: a 70-foot “Speedway” zip line, a VIP Swing, Cloud 9 swings, climbing rocks and other various ground-level play equipment.

The 15,000 square-foot play area has not only become the talk of the town but also of the region.

What does this mean for the kids and the community?

  • The free play concept at the park is designed to tap into children’s intuitive development and sense of adventure.
  • The park also challenges a child’s motor skills, including strength, agility and hand-eye coordination.
  • Climbing equipment taps into a child’s creative level of problem solving to go from point A to point B with no specified path.
  • The free play concept also encourages repeat users.
  • Park patrons enjoy a playground more when every trip presents a different challenge or approach to problem solving.
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