Building Dynamic Playgrounds


Check out Michelle’s great article about Dynamic Play featured in March’s issue of Parks and Recreation Magazine! It features Hiawatha Park as a great example of utilizing the some of the nine key elements highlighted for building dynamic playgrounds.

Visit us at the IPRA/IAPD Conference Booth #321

2015 IAPD Conference

Upland Design is proud to be a Platinum sponsor for the second year in a row of IPRA/IAPD Soaring to New Heights Conference that brings so many communities and vendors together for a fun weekend. Join Joyce Hemphill and our own Michelle Kelly as they present ideas to bring more play to your community, the green way. First they will look at fun game activities along with make & play crafts that can be incorporated into any youth program. Then they will explore how other communities are taking these on the road with mobile “art campers”, community play days and pop up parks.… Find Out More Details…

ASLA Conference: Chicago

Harvest commons tour

This year, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) conference was back at McCormick Place Chicago. With a local presence, staff at Upland Design got involved with the planning and coordination of the chapter booth as well as field tours for the week long celebration of the profession. Our very own Liz Dafoe led a field tour that highlighted Urban Agriculture in Action. The tour visited four sites that explored green roof systems and how they can expand beyond the traditional into the edible. This included stops at  the McCormick Place Roof Garden, Gary Comer Youth Center, Harvest Commons: a Heartland… Find Out More Details…

Kick off the Holiday Season with Giving Back


Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), a non-profit organization committed to feeding hungry children throughout the world has three local packing sites in the Chicagoland region. These meals are boxed  and sent to over 70 countries around the world where the meals are used to operate orphanages, schools, clinics and feeding programs to break the cycle of poverty. Upland Design staff joined Members of the Suburban Branch of the American Public Works Association (APWA) to volunteer to pack meals in Aurora.  As part of an assembly line, Liz and Maria helped the group of volunteers hand pack meals that are specially formulated for malnourished children.… Find Out More Details…

Improving Outdoor Play and Learning

Hiawatha Park

Maintenance for Better Playgrounds Have a playground and trying to figure out what’s next? A safety audit and maintenance program is highly recommended. Not only can it extend the life of your equipment, but a plan will identify playground hazards. Using the plan to guide repairs will help protect children from injury and also may protect your agency from costly liabilities. There are various levels of playground maintenance. A program that establishes the standard of care is useful for all agencies that own playgrounds. This can range from daily to annual tasks, but key factors to consider are routine maintenance, safety compliance, hazard identification, accessibility,… Find Out More Details…

Breathing New Life into Old Parks: Part 2

Maze Garden

In September, the U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, held a press conference in which he spoke about his new campaign for walkable communities as an effort to promote physical activity and reduce health risks. Dr. Murthy specifically noted the impact that the Park and Recreation Community can play in providing walkable environments. The Upland Design Staff have seen this prescription be effective first hand and can help with ideas for making your local green space more enticing to get the community walking.  Creating destinations with art walks, community gardens, educational demonstration gardens or quiet contemplation gardens are a few examples… Find Out More Details…

Breathing New Life into Old Parks: Part 1

GameTime_Challenge Course

Looking for new ideas for your park, school, campus, or forest preserve? Want to draw more people to the great spaces in your community? Playgrounds, pavilions and sports courts are common amenities and a great draw for people, but providing fresh new spaces that provide activities for adults and kids will keep people coming back as well as keep the wider community interested. Two new trends that are challenging kids and adults are Parkour and Obstacle Courses. Parkour– A sport that is gaining popularity in the United States is about moving from point A to point B using the obstacles in your way… Find Out More Details…

Parking Day Success

Parking day 2015

Thanks to everyone that helped make our Park(ing) Day a success! Wilson Nursery Unilock Sofsurfaces and Surface Solutions & Design Nutoys Leisure Products Parkreation Noland Sales Turf Pulse Design Fuertes Systems Wine and Cheese by TCC Plainfield Public Library Village of Plainfield