What are we aiming for?

It is hard to keep in mind just what we’re aiming for. This graphic lists out the playground design improvements we are striving to make. We are aiming for Build Phase One, but if we get extra, and can fund a little of Build Phase Two — well, that would be fabulous!

Playground Thermometer_smaller


May 20th Meeting Survey Results


Thank you to all who responded. Here are the top six choices chosen in the survey. These results will be added to the ones gathered at the meeting to create a larger group of opinions for the designers to work with.

Final Stage of Playground Design: Give Your Input

The May 20th meeting was a good one. There was a smaller crowd, but there were many new faces and active participants. Seeing the three designs that Johnson Southerland created out of all the ideas from the April meeting was really exciting. We don’t get to choose the actual equipment yet. We are now choosing the design in which play equipment will sit.
To answer a question asked by many: Yes, the current playground equipment will stay. The additional play equipment area(s) have three emphases:  1) Challenging climbing and upper body, 2) Rocking and spinning, 3) Nature integration
Note that (re)painting the blacktop are things we can do outside of these designs — with enough parent support. Also, the rubberized surfaces v.s. the wood chips may turn out to be a financial issue. Rubber surfacing is more expensive. It comes down to fundraising (that post is coming…).
Take a look at the below landscape footprint design concepts (or click here to open the PDF 3-page version). At the bottom of the page you can vote on your top 6 elements.
1) Glacial Features
2) Forest Integration
Forest Integration detail: “School Floor Compass w/Concrete Benches and Tree Planters” (outside the cafeteria doors)
Forest Integration Detail: “Woodchip Play & Tree Planters w/Concrete Root Benches” (along the west fence)
Pathfinder Forest Int Detail
3) Magnetic
Magnetic Detail, top view: “School View Compass and Whirligigs”
Magnetic Detail, side view: “School View Compass and Whirligigs”
“Gateway to the Wild.” Note that there are wood cut-outs and interpretive info about the greenspace attached to the fence. A gateway is created with greenery.Pathfinder_Entry
Each design had a lot more to it than the above, and we were asked to pick and choose our favorite elements among them. The parts of each that we love the most can be put into one Master Design Plan.
To get more feedback and include more people, we have set up this survey in which you can vote on the design elements. There are 18 element options. Please select your top 6 favorites. If you already voted at the meeting, please do not vote again.
All votes must be in by next Friday, the 30th. Kids can vote too. Please vote only once!
The next meeting is June 16th, 5:30-7pm!

Don’t Miss This Meeting!


On May 20th, Johnson Sutherland will present their concepts based on our feedback at the first meeting. Our input will shape the final design before it goes to the School District for final review. Everyone is welcome to attend, and snacks will be served.

photoWhen: May 20th, 5:30-7pm

Where: Pathfinder K8, Cafeteria

SAVE THE DATE: Design Reveal + Ice Cream Social!

DATE CHANGED: June 16th, 5:30-7pm

Meeting note: I have heard from many that cannot attend who want to provide input. We will be sharing the concept plans and a survey the day after the meeting, stay tuned!

About the designs…

I got to peek at the 3 preliminary designs today. They were all great improvements over what we have now. The designers are going with the idea that our playground as-is sits like a desert surrounded by fertile land. They are working hard to create imaginative spaces out of our blacktop.

Here are some descriptions of the three designs I saw, in no particular order:

The designs are all three about changing the landscape to incorporate and blend it more with the natural landscape around it. There are lots of trees and bushes around the edges, inside and outside of the fence. The fence is moved out towards the greenspace, towards the field, and towards the classrooms in the three different designs. There are boulders in clumps and as stepping paths. There is a design idea for a painted path that flows like a stream around the whole blacktop. There are spinning things on a squishy blue island and a big climber on a squishy blue island that sits against a crescent moon shaped hill. There were steps up to a compass that sat at the north end of our playground, half surrounded by grass that was reclaimed by the field. There were whirligigs. There was a compass that doubled as benches.

Tomorrow our designers will meet with the Seattle Public Schools people to approve the designs.

Important note about the process: The designers are not going to give us any play equipment designs. They are giving us designs for the whole space — it’s look and feel. They are changing the height of the land and the surfaces. They are suggesting where to put pockets of equipment, and how to integrate it into a design that is all about what people asked for in the first meeting and in the blog poll: greenspace integration/imagination/paths. When it is time to choose equipment has to be bid on and designed by a playground equipment company. We tell them we want “spinning, upper body and stepping stones, for 200,000” — they give us designs. We have to choose the cheapest one that meets all our needs/specs.

Please come to the meeting, even if you’re late with hungry kids. Or, find a friend who will represent you.

Hope to see you there!



Meet Our Playground Designer!

We have chosen a design company that has the skills to translate our needs and dreams into reality, Johnson Southerland.

If you have played recently on the playgrounds at Seward Park, Salmon Bay, or Seattle Country Day School then you have experienced their designs. More examples of their work can be found at www.johnsonsoutherland.com.

Mark your calendars for our first community meeting on April 30th, 5:30-7pm at Pathfinder. Please come, and bring your kids. Your participation at this meeting counts not only toward shaping our playground design, but also toward volunteer hours required for our next grant application (the big one that will help us actually build it).

pathplay2Keep an eye out for Playground Volunteers collecting pledges — the time you commit to volunteer will help us get the Large Neighborhood Matching Grant. For example, if you can plan on attending each design meeting (3 x 2 hours), you could pledge 6 hours. We also need folks who can help us put up posters, make copies, help host our big meetings, and make sure every family at Pathfinder knows about the project.

Want to sign up now? Click here: http://bit.ly/1koPBYb

Save The Date:  April 30th, 5:30-7:00! And these dates for future playground meetings: May 20th, June 16th (there will be ice cream)!

Official Call For Pathfinder Playground Designers

We want to make sure our call for this project reaches far and wide!

The Pathfinder K-8 Playground Committee (part of the Parent/Teacher Association) is seeking design services to produce a conceptual site plan for Pathfinder K-8 School located at 1901 SW Genesee St., Seattle, WA 98106.  Services include: coordination with volunteer steering committee; review with school district; facilitation of up to three community meetings; development of design alternatives and final conceptual plan with phases.  Proposals are due March 7th by 4:00 pm. Request RFQ packet at pathfinderplayground2014@gmail.com.