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Woodruff Park Playground!

Good morning!

There is a new playground being built right in the middle of Atlanta, in Woodruff Park. If you’ve been downtown lately (or in the past several years really), you’ll remember Woodruff Park has those chess boards that lots of people  use to kill time. I like the park…it reminds me that I live in a city. Woodruff Park apparently had a design contest where people from all over the world designed a play area for the area. Well, a winner was selected and the new playground is slated to be installed November 4th! I personally am really excited about this design. It is something completely different from all the other playgrounds in the city…I can’t wait to see it in person.




ATLANTA, GA Coming soon to Woodruff Park in Downtown Atlanta: a playground. Playable 10 in partnership with ATOP, Atlanta’s Taskforce on Play and the Georgia Institute of Technology, has sponsored an international design competition for an extraordinarily accessible and inventive playground design for Woodruff Park. Charitably, Bank of America will support the construction of the design challenge winner, providing a family-friendly improvement for the park nestled in the heart of Downtown.

The international design competition drew entries from all over the world including competitors from Krakow, Australia, Italy, Singapore, and Estonia. A large number of submissions for the design competition were from the University of Georgia School of Environmental Design which made the competition a school project.

The winner of the international design competition is Jeff Santos of Coquitiam, British Columbia in Canada.The winning design was selected from more than 40 designs that had been submitted from around the world. Santos has been designing video games for the past eight years, but this is his first foray into designing playgrounds.

“Bank of America is proud to provide funding to help enhance Woodruff Park as an increasingly vibrant neighborhood resource and deepen our support of the downtown community.” said Geri P. Thomas, Georgia market president for Bank of America.

The new playground is in good company with the other improvements that have been made in the park over the last few years. Central Atlanta Progress (CAP) and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID), since taking on operations of the park, have set their sights on making Woodruff Park the Downtown destination for healthy activity. Best known of these improvements is the Woodruff Park Recreation and Reading Room and the recently installed music system. But other new amenities like exercise and recreation equipment and Walk For Lunch programming have increased the active offerings of this urban oasis.

“Woodruff Park aims to be an amenity for visitors, employees, children and families and no park is complete without a dedicated place to play,” said A.J. Robinson, president of CAP and ADID. “By connecting with Bank of America and Playable 10, we’re bringing great international talent and a ground-breaking design to serve Downtown.”

The judges in the competition rated each entry on the following criteria: playable, original, sustainable, feasible, multi-generational, accessible, and inspires movement.

ABOUT THE WOODRUFF PARK MASTER PLAN: The Woodruff Park Master Plan presents a detailed vision of the future of Downtown’s most distinctive green space. The authority for the Master Plan is the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (DPRCA) and Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, Inc. (ADID), as approved by the City Council and Mayor in 2007. Woodruff Park’s designer, Nimrod Long and Associates, was hired by CAP/ADID to spearhead all redesign and repair projects. The Master Plan will be executed in two phases, and will be funded largely through a comprehensive fund-raising program, developed by CAP, targeting support from private sources.

ABOUT CENTRAL ATLANTA PROGRESS/ATLANTA DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT:Central Atlanta Progress, Inc., is a Downtown business association with approximately 200 members. Its mission is to build a vibrant community with strong leadership and sustainable infrastructure that is safe, livable, diverse, economically viable, accessible, clean, hospitable and entertaining.. The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable corporation created by CAP to make Downtown safer, cleaner and more hospitable.

ABOUT BANK OF AMERICA: Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 57 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,900 retail banking offices and approximately 18,000 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 29 million active users. Bank of America is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.



Well, it seems like the heat of summer is now gone. I guess Labor Day really is the start of fall (although technically it’s September 21st).

Here is my ode to fall in haiku:

Seasons are changing
Cold is soon upon us, but
Play is all year long!

And by the way, the playground finder map can now detect your location. Great news for all you mobile users! And it works great right in the browser. No app necessary.

50 Playgrounds complete!!

Three months ago, I didn’t even have this idea to do a comprehensive list of playgrounds in Atlanta, and now I am 50 playgrounds into it. The domain name ( was bought at the end of July and the first playgrounds started being put up on the site the first week of August. The Historic Fourth Ward Conservancy found me on August 9th and I got a ton of hits for my review of the new Beltline playground, Historic Fourth Ward Playground and Splashpad. Then the Grant Park Parents Network and East Atlanta Parents Network found me on August 18th and I had over 1000 page views in 24 hours! Wow! Since then, I have been averaging over 75 page views a day (and I hope it will only go up from there!). From the date of inception to now, I have had about 3,250 page views on People from Atlanta Parks and Rec have contacted me, I’ve been asked to be a guest blogger, I’ve been recognized on the street for doing this. It’s crazy! I could have never imagined this.

Courtesy of my amazing husband, we now have an interactive map that can tell you where to find the best playground by searching by location or name (really anything that Google Maps would recognize) and he is working on a way to search from your iPhone or Android phone. Pretty cool, huh?

You know, I don’t have a master list of all the playgrounds; all that information is just so all over the place. Atlanta Parks and Recs has a list, so does Dekalb Co Parks and Recs, but it’s all so confusing and unorganized. My goal is to make something that is organized and comprehensive so that YOU can find some place to play wherever you go in the city. I think there are between 120-150 playgrounds inside the perimeter. So that makes me a third of the way complete! I’m going to pat my back now. 🙂

If you’re reading this, email me. Tell me what you think of this website. How can I make it better for you? What changes would you like? What do you hate about the site? What do you love? I’d love to know.


I’m raising a playground snob!

As I near the 50 count mark for playgrounds visited in Atlanta, I have noticed that my son (who goes with me to every playground) is becoming a playground snob.  We’ll go visit a playground (we often visit 2 or 3 at a time, so I don’t have to drive as much to a different area of town) and I try to plan out our visit in a certain order. I try to visit what I expect to be the worst playground of the two first, and then the last playground of the day will be the awesome playground. For example, when we were in the Cabbagetown area, we visited Esther Peachy LeFerve Playground first and then the Cabbagetown Park Playground next. Same thing in the North Druid Hills area, we went to W.D. Thompson first, and then Mason Mill Park next. That just works best for us. We play in the morning and then we go home, eat lunch, and nap.

My son is noticing this trend though. We’ll get to a playground and he’ll say, “I don’t like this playground. Want to go to a different playground.” He’s even making requests, like “the playground with the sandbox” or the “pirate ship playground.” I love that he can differentiate the playgrounds that are good and bad and will even tell me why he thinks the playground is yucky or great.  I do take note of which playgrounds he enjoys best and what he gravitates to at these playgrounds, but when it comes right down to it, I am raising a playground snob. And he’s not even 3 yet!