Potts Park playground equipment installed

Potts Park playground equipment
New playground equipment has been installed at Potts Park. Until recently, Potts Park had been home to the oldest playground in the Lan-Oak Park District.
by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (October 10, 2017) – Superintendent of Parks and Maintenance Michelle Havran met with Juan Guzman and Darrell Garrison at Potts Park to review any last-minute details that need to be taken care of with regard to the newly installed playground equipment. Guzman is the Vice President of Hacienda Landscaping, and Garrison is Director of Landscape Architecture with Planning Resources Inc. The two men and their two companies have worked together on several Lansing park updates, including Van Laten Park and Lan-Oak Park.

Potts Park playground equipment
Michelle Havran (red shirt) meets with Darrell Garrison (white shirt) and Juan Guzman (blue shirt) at Potts Park. One of the specifications that must be met is having appropriate “fall zones”—safe places to fall without landing on a hard surface.

Garrison explained that in the past, parks focused mainly on providing space and equipment for physical play. Today’s parks are also intentional about engaging mental muscles and social skills. Children might have to “figure out” how to use a piece of equipment, or they might have to watch and learn from others. Those considerations are all part of the landscape design of a park.

Potts Park playground equipment
Figuring out how to use a piece of playground equipment is a way for children to exercise mind as well as body.

As reported last month, the Lan-Oak Park District has a new strategy in place for updating Lansing’s parks. Rather than trying to make sure all parks have all the same equipment, they are thinking in terms of “Destination Parks,” with something unique about each one. Van Laten Park, for example, is the only part with a StoryWalk feature. Lions Park is the destination for pickleball.

Sharon Desjardins, Senior Superintendent of Strategy and Operations, is hoping Potts Park will be Lansing’s destination for bocce. The park is five acres, so there is plenty of room for the 90×13.1′ needed for a full-size bocce court. Desjardins is currently soliciting bids for installation of two bocce courts in the spring of 2018.

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