A collaboration between the Columbus Service League, Columbus Department of Recreation, and Indiana Ready Mixed Concrete Association (IRMCA) has produced
A collaboration between the Columbus Service League, Columbus Department of Recreation, and Indiana Ready Mixed Concrete Association (IRMCA) has produced an all-inclusive playground for the Columbus community’s 11,000-plus physically challenged adults and children. Built at Chapman Blackwell Park in the central Indiana town known for world-class architecture and Cummins Inc., the 1.5-acre universally accessible playground is covered with a rubberized surface and has handicap-accessible pathways leading from the parking area and restrooms, plus ramping on and off the play structure.
A 28,000-sq.-ft., 4-in.-thick pervious concrete pavement acts as a base for the playground. IRMCA member Shelby Materials, Columbus, supplied mix for the pavement, which was placed with the assistance of local contractor Repp & Mundt, Inc. Topping the pervious concrete is a 3∫-in. rubber surface. A 6-ft.-wide pathway comprising pervious whitetop on a 4-in. base circles the playground’s perimeter. Shelby’s Dave Houchins notes that at 384 yd., the project is one of Indiana’s largest pervious concrete applications.
An environmentally friendly paving material, pervious concrete allows water and air to pass through it, filtering and cleaning the water and cooling the air above. It thereby eliminates puddles and ponding as it provides a cool, comfortable walking surface.
The $600,000 playground was funded through combined efforts of the Columbus Parks and Recreation department, CommUNITY Development and Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., partnering with the Columbus Service League to contact over 50 foundations, corporations, or private donors. A three-acre allocation by the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department launched a design process leading to the project’s May 2006 construction startup.
FREEDOM FIELD FEATURES
From its inception 40 years ago, the Columbus Service League has eyed a special playground for children and adults with a wide range of abilities and from all socioeconomic levels. Freedom Field offers accessibility for every Columbus community member by incorporating:
- Pervious concrete playground subbase and pathways, eliminating puddles and ponding
- Rubberized surfacing versus mulch or sand
- Handicap accessible pathways from the parking area, restrooms, and 18-mile People Trail
- Ramping on and off the play structure
- Sensory-rich, independently playable equipment