City Walk BHAM is home to a destination playground that highlights Alabama’s five physiographic regions. They are the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Alabama Ridge and Valley, Cumberland Plateau, and Highland Rim, and each is experienced through a variety of play experiences
The playground is located adjacent to parking, a restroom facility, and a shaded seating area and anchors the easternmost end of City Walk at 24th Street North. The play equipment includes a variety of fun, whimsical colors, heightening visual interest. Additional color and texture are captured on the ground plane through poured-in-place rubberized surfacing which allows for safe and comfortable play.
This inclusive play space emphasizes the unique physiographic features of each region by providing at least one signature play structure that reflects the dominant feature of the region. Each area also incorporates additional play structures and experiences for children of all ages and abilities. For example, the Coastal Plain region of Alabama is the largest physiographic region within the state. One of its key characteristics is the relatively flat landscape that is principally associated with the floodplains of several rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. The “Coastal Plain” zone of the playground reflects these characteristics through colors associated with sand and water, and play equipment that mimics the dynamic movements, sounds, and shapes of water. The ground plane provides a playful blue swirl for children to run and follow. The play equipment ebbs and flows with an inclusive sea-saw that accommodates up to four, an inclusive whirl, and infinity bowls twist and spin like the waves of the Gulf. A variety of swings and a signature, undulating, rope climber reiterate the motion of water, harmonic chimes reflect sound and provide sensory stimulation, and smaller cozy domes provide the respite we can all appreciate from a trip to the coast.
One of the dominating features of the Piedmont Region of Alabama is the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The “Piedmont” play zone mimics these foothills with undulating berms of a green, synthetic turf material that will provide opportunities for participants to climb, role, or sit and socialize. With unique step pods positioned and spaced to allow hops, jumps, and seated play, children can physically challenge themselves or stretch their imaginations. “Sprout links” will be placed to appear as vegetation emerging from the ground; their spiral pattern and wavy design will provide a climbing challenge.
The Alabama Ridge and Valley Region consists of uniquely zigzagging ridges separated by deep, steep-sided valleys. Designed to mirror these distinctive attributes the “Ridge and Valley” play zone showcases a dramatic pair of rope pyramids; the larger of the two reaching over 30’ tall. These vibrant play features encourage children to challenge themselves in ways that they can control and manage, provide cardiovascular exercise, and help develop muscle strength, balance, and coordination.
The Cumberland Plateau Region landscape consists of flat-topped, high-elevation plateaus separated by deep, steep-sided valleys, an area that is popular with hang-gliding. The “Plateau” play zone provides play equipment that simulates exciting motion play activities, like flying. A dual zip-track-with inclusivity seat and solo spinner pieces provide fun activities that sharpen awareness of body position, gravitational effects on the body, and how the body moves through space.
Steep cliffs, conducive for climbing activities, are some of the characteristic landforms found in the Highland Rim Region of Alabama. Echoing these steep cliffs, a combination of wrinkle wall sidewinder and mogul provide fun, challenging, climbing opportunities in the “Highland Rim” play zone. This bending and twisting climber, with multiple hand holds, allows users to scale the wall both vertically and laterally, promoting problem-solving, various levels of challenge, and developmentally appropriate risk. In addition, the Highland Rim zone includes double arch swings. These swings can accommodate up to 5 users, promoting friendship and socialization while providing the enjoyment of the swaying motion of the swing.
The CityWalk BHAM destination playground provides a variety of play experiences that will help inspire children and encourage them to choose activities that captures their imagination or interest. It provides the opportunity and the flexibility to explore new interests while building self-confidence and adding to their self-esteem, within a safe, welcoming, and accessible environment.