Elevating Play in the Low Country
Shady Lane Park has long been a favorite oasis for the people of North Houston. It’s 12 acres of recreation space and walking paths are in close proximity to hundreds of homes, and families have long gathered here to play, explore and reconnect with the outdoors. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison dumped nearly two feet of rain on Houston. Shady Lane Park and the surrounding neighborhood was flooded and never fully restored to its previous condition. In 2013, GameTime and PlayCore, along with the National Recreation and Parks Association and the City of Houston, combined imaginative design with the heritage of the “low country” to create a playscape that is a model for communities around the world.
Working with Talley Landscape Architects, GameTime designed a playground that integrated the area’s geography, indigenous flora, and cultural significance. Visitors are transported back to a time in Houston’s past with a walk through a “wetlands” spray park with rocks and alligators, as well as a life-size Bayou Boat for climbing and exploring. Beyond the wetlands lies an enormous Hollow Log that is accessible for children and adults with mobility devices, sculptured animals and tree stump climbers, and interactive signage that educates children and families about the natural environment. Anchoring the playscape is a custom Swamp Tree and Treehouse with numerous climbers, slides and play activities.
The combination of Houston’s vision for building communities and GameTime’s passion for designing extraordinary playscapes has resulted in a new kind of park that elevates play and inspires imaginations.