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Hinton Park's Adventure Playground
Musical Elements Enhance Unstructured, Imaginative Play

Landscape Architecture by Dalhoff Thomas design|studio



Instruments at the Adventure Playground in Hinton Park, Collierville, Tenn., include (left to right, top photo) "Imbarimba," "Piper," "Griffin" chimes, "Saturn" chimes, and tuned drums. They are arranged under a shaded cover, in close proximity to each other so that kids can play together and spontaneously create their own soundscape. The instruments provide an opportunity for creative expression, as well as create a setting that makes it easy to meet and interact with new friends.

Located outside Memphis, Tennessee, Collierville is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the area. As more people move into the town, the demand for park space has grown. Dalhoff Thomas design|studio was chosen by the town of Collierville to transform 150 acres of former farmland into one of the town's largest parks.

Hinton Park was created with a focus on the natural setting, since many of the town's other large parks are focused on baseball and soccer fields. Main elements of the design include the Adventure Playground, the Climbing Hill, a 5-acre pond, 5.5 acres of wetlands, 18 acres of native wildflower meadows, 25 acres of preserved woodlands, a 9-hole disc golf course, a multi-purpose lawn, passive lawn areas, a performance lawn and stage, a restroom building, and an extensive trail network to provide circulation throughout the park, as well as connections to the adjacent residential community.

The Adventure Playground is the most popular element of Hinton Park. Accessible by trail from the adjacent neighborhood, the playground features timber climbers, a climbing turf mound with slides, a circular sand pit, jumping boulders, and a collection of musical instruments by Freenotes Harmony Park. The town of Collierville was very enthusiastic about the idea of unstructured play where children could grow their imaginations, and the inclusion of musical instruments was a key part of that concept. Collierville also loved the inclusive nature of the instruments, and the fact that any kid of any age or ability could participate.

As seen in LASN magazine, September 2017.

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October 23, 2019, 10:13 pm PDT

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