Treasure at Mount Trashmore
Virginia Beach, Va.'s 165-acre Mount Trashmore Park, which opened in 1973 on the site of a closed landfill, attracts more than 1 million visitors annually. Among its many features is the Kids Cove playground, which reopened in December with a new play surface and equipment and improved wheelchair accessibility.
Originally built in 1993, the playground was funded and created by thousands of volunteers, using children's ideas and input. After 17 years, however, the 14,000-square-foot wooden playground needed an upgrade. The city's Planning, Design & Development Division of the Parks and Recreation Department designed the new playground and contracted with Richmond, Va.-based KBS to begin construction in July 2010. Locally based Cunningham Associates supplied the equipment from Fort Payne, Ala.-based GameTime. The $1.477 million project was funded through the city's capital improvement program.
The new, larger Kids Cove playground is a 25,973-square-foot area with a bouncy rubber surface, four picnic shelters and three play areas: one with slides and bridges, one with swings, and a section with features specifically for kids to climb. It has been certified as a Boundless Playground, meaning it is accessible for all children, fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and is barrier-free. For example, ramps leading up to play areas are wide enough to accommodate two wheelchairs, and there are no curbs surrounding the play areas.
The original wooden Kids Cove playground will be dismantled and removed this spring and will become a grassy area. Future development plans include additional play areas, space for fitness activities, a sprayground (playground with water features) and additional parking.