Ridley boasts a beautiful 90-acre campus with one of the oldest private schools in Canada and gorgeous fields, grounds, and sports fields that are the envy of any school. When we began our consultations, the only place for play was on a play structure in a fenced-in tennis court. Our challenge was to build a playground under and around a 300-year-old oak. Working closely with our arborists and engineers, the core of this playground is now a tree house that surrounds that tree with rolling topography, tunnels, streams and log jams, interlaced with the addition of human scale forest floor planting beyond the canopy of the ancient tree.
Even though there are many fantastic components at this playground, my favourites are the natural features. The hills provide gross motor opportunities including proprioceptive and vestibular inputs. The willow fort provides opportunities for creative and contemplative play.