Inlow Park: An Inclusive Community Adventure
A unique and exciting hands-on experience awaits explorers of all abilities at the newly renovated and expanded Lawrence W. Inlow Park with the addition of three adventure-themed play pods, situated on a new safety surface, and twice the size of the previous one at the East Main Street location.
Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation’s (CCPR) objective with the project—beyond expanding the footprint and improving safety—was to embrace the concepts of graduated and 360-degree play while fully engaging the imagination, according to Melissa Guffey of Recreation InSites and a representative for Kompan Playgrounds.
CCPR is working diligently to finish construction on the new and improved playground for a much-needed upgrade for the community. The new playground is divided into three adventure-themed play pods for children of all ages and abilities that include areas for fun and exploration. Twice the size as the original playground, it comes complete with rubberized safety surfacing, similar to other surfaces at Central Park’s Westermeier Commons and Founders Park. Safety surfacing ensures an enjoyable experience for all users and provides ease in moving from one experience to the next.
As visitors enter the park, they will see one of the truly innovative and unique pieces—the Skywalk, an enclosed 32-foot-long,16-foot-high rope walkway, slides and numerous rope climbing structures. This piece was designed to bring a child’s imagination to the sky. The only structure similar to it in the United States is located at the Seattle Center in Washington. While the Skywalk is the focal-point of pod three, children can also explore the tipi carousel, satellite binoculars, megaphone, and Spica—a unique piece of rotating equipment that requires a lot of experimentation to master and control.
Michael Krosschell, RLA, is a senior project manager for The Schneider Corporation who provided the landscape architecture plan for the park. Inlow’s natural assets—an established tree canopy incorporated into its existing park—inspired a spectacular update for the 10-year-old playground.
“While being tucked back in the tree line had many perks, it was also hard to observe,” says Krosschell. “We wanted to get kids up into the tree tops and take advantage of that wooded setting; opening it for easier viewing led to the structure we chose.”
One highlight of the first pod is a Supernova, which is built for individual, competitive or cooperative play by harnessing the effects of gravity with a unique slanted ring configuration. When a child engages the attraction, the product reacts to their movements and multiple games can occur. The combination of social interaction and movement makes it one of the biggest attractions on the playground. Pod one also has spinner bowls, expression and embarkment swings, and a toddler wave—an obstacle course for children ages 2–5.
The focal point of pod two is the Explorer Dome, a freestyle climbing structure with layers of play and three-dimensional climbing options. Ropes, ladders and nets encourage kids to stretch, sway, balance, hang, bend and twist. There is no limit to the variety of movements this sculpture inspires among young acrobats. Young adventurers will also be challenged by the Rope Screw, a twisting net that rotates 180 degrees, requiring skillful maneuvering to master.
CCPR is excited about the new memories that will be created on the cutting-edge playground located at 6310 E Main Street. Keep an eye out for updates via social media and carmelclayparks.com.
Supernova: Pod 1
Built for individual, competitive or cooperative play by harnessing gravity with a unique slanted ring configuration. Also includes spinner bowls, swings and toddler wave.
Explorer Dome: Pod 2
A freestyle climbing structure with layers of play and
three-dimensional climbing options including ropes, ladders, and nets. Also includes the Rope Screw.
Skywalk: Pod 3
An enclosed 32-foot-long, 16-foot-high rope walkway with slides and numerous climbing structures. Also includes a carousel, binoculars and megaphone.