Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bryant Park Survey

I have posted previously about the effort to turn Bryant Park (around the new Tryon library) into a natural playground. We are making some progress (I'll admit, slower than I had hoped) and have learned a lot about how to do it.

For a variety of reasons, at this point we are leaning toward a hybrid playground, combining natural elements and purchased equipment. I've sat in meetings with various staff members, and we have each responded to the elements ourselves. But it has been a long time since most of us have really played on a playground....

So we decided to bring the decision making to the users, the kids of our community. We are having a workshop for kids who live near the park to give them an opportunity to give their feedback. Since this park will attract more than neighborhood kids, particularly with the adjacent library, I want to expand the input. However, a room full of a hundred kids is daunting. So I've decided to use modern technology....

Below is a slideshow of elements that might be included in the park (some of the more natural ones might be modified from what you see, but just trying to convey the idea). I have also created an online survey. (An apology on the survey--they don't have a "rank" tool, where you could rank things by numbering them, so I created it as a grid. Then it wouldn't let me have everything in the grid, so I split it into two. Sorry for the challenges.) Survey questions correspond approximately to page numbers of the slide. Feel free to provide feedback via email as well--the survey just might make data collection easier.

Of course, we won't just buy the top five vote getters--we will need to consider the budget, space, and other issues. This survey is more to get a sense of what kids really respond to. I also welcome adult feedback. Kids are not always the best at self-reflection--my five year old looked through the images and wanted everything. I have tried to group items, so perhaps look at it as choosing among two directions--wooden stump seating or sculpted plastic, for instance.

I look forward to your feedback.


Click here to take survey