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Mercer Island’s Adventure Playground is unique

The nonprofit children’s health and wellness organization KaBoom! recently named the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department as its October “Playmaker of the Month” in recognition of the department’s role in promoting healthy outdoor play through its new Adventure Playground at Deane’s Park, adjacent to Island Crest Park.

“At the Mercer Island Adventure Playground, kids can dig in the dirt, build forts, play knights and dragons, or create whatever world they can imagine in a forested setting. The Parks and Recreation Department provides the tools and staff supervision, but the kids create their own fun,” said Adventure Playground Coordinator Ann Grabler.

Mercer Island’s Adventure Playground is currently one of only three such playgrounds in the country that provide children with the raw materials and tools to construct their own play places.

Adventure Playground is also receiving national attention in an article in this month’s issue of Parks & Recreation, the official magazine of the National Parks and Recreation Association. Written by Recreation Superintendant Diane Mortenson and Natural Resources Coordinator Paul West, the article describes the introduction, decline and slow revitalization of adventure playgrounds in American communities.

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