HKGi led the design and implementation phases for a series of exciting new improvements to Keewaydin Park, a neighborhood park that also serves as an elementary school playground in south Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) retained HKGi to conduct concept planning and final design because the MPRB wanted to create a new nature play environment that currently does not exist within the City’s park system.
The “Canyonlands” concept that the community identified as their preferred option includes separate play zones for two age groups along with a central multi-age play area that can flex from nature play to outdoor classroom uses. Climbing boulders, hills and walls take advantage of landscape variations and also incorporate natural materials and manufactured materials with a natural finish. Shade will be prominent in play and seating areas, and imaginative play is emphasized throughout.
Extensive neighborhood engagement including integrating schoolchildren into planning process
Introduction of bouldering feature to the Minneapolis system
Plan to Play
HKGi’s creative design approach and collaboration with MPRB staff enabled the community—including students at Keewaydin Elementary—the MPRB, and the design team to explore several potential nature play directions, evaluate three play concepts, and identify a preferred nature play concept that has captured the imagination of neighborhood stakeholders.