Unconventional Play

Where kids are concerned any found object can become the most exciting play thing imaginable. Sometimes the unconventional toy gets more attention than the pieces designed explicitly for play.  This play fueled imagination in kids transitions to adaptability, innovation and ingenuity in adults who can affect change in the built environment. With Earth Day approaching next week words like “recycle”, “reuse” and “sustainability” resurface as attention is focused on preserving our planet.  Since children can adapt almost anything into a play piece it makes sense that playground materials can come from many sources.    Here is a look at a few… Find Out More Details…

April is World Landscape Architecture Month


Upland Design is celebrating World Landscape Architecture Month this April.  Landscape Architects lead the stewardship, planning, and design of our built environment. We play an important role in designing spaces where people want to live, play and work and encourage people to go outside. Check out great projects that are going on around the country and world at http://www.asla.org/contentdetail.aspx?id=45783 . Landscape Architects are tweeting their favorite projects at #WLAM2015.   Check out a few of our favorite projects in celebration of World Landscape Architecture Month.

Spring into Bocce

Bocce at the Cultural Center

The winter snow seems to finally have melted and people are starting to warm up to the idea of going outside. This spring be sure to try Bocce Ball at a nearby park. What is Bocce Ball? Bocce Ball is actually a very old sport dating back to the Roman Empire, it is played on a 13’ x 90’ court with anywhere from two to eight players. To play, the first team attempts to throw the smallest ball, known as the “jack”, at least two-third’s of the length of the court. Players then take turns “bowling” (throwing the ball in an underhand motion)… Find Out More Details…

#save OSLAD

save oslad

On March 11, IAPD posted this letter to all its members concerning funding for current and upcoming OSLAD grants: “We have learned that every State grant recipient is receiving a letter indefinitely suspending all State grants until further notice. This suspension includes capital grant programs such as OSLAD, PARC, and Public Museum Grants. These suspensions even cover construction projects that are currently in progress. With construction season upon us, this decision could not come at a worse time. The suspension not only threatens jobs that are helping to grow Illinois’ economy, it creates exposure to local taxpayers for existing contractual… Find Out More Details…

Advancing Play with US Play Coalition

US Play coalition

Upland Design is excited to attend the US Play Coalition Conference this year!  The conference is an opportunity for like-minded professionals from around the country to share innovative ideas and new research for the betterment of play in our communities. This year the conference will focus on ‘Advancing Play’ with five featured tracks: education, programming, park and recreation, health and business/corporate. The US Play coalition is a partnership to promote the value of play throughout life, something Upland Design has been involved with for the past 17 years. Encouraging people to Go Outside is the core of what Upland Design… Find Out More Details…

40 Years of Excellence in Higher Education

ICCHE image

Upland Design is proud sponsor and exhibitor at the 40th Annual Illinois Council on Continuing Higher Education (ICCHE) Conference located at the Doubletree Hotel on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. We strongly support the ICCGE mission of collaboration efforts for the continuance of higher education. As Landscape Architects, we understand the need for outdoor spaces and the need of both passive and active recreation opportunities in relationship to the educational components. We take it one step further by creating functional spaces for people to learn in all facets beyond the classroom and go outside!   For more information on the Illinois Council… Find Out More Details…

Thank You!

2015 IAPD Conference

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at the IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference this past week. We had fun seeing old friends and making new ones.   One of the best parts of the conference are the education sessions.  We attended sessions about public art in parks, taking brown fields to parks and all the great work our Forest Preserves, Conservation Districts and Parks Districts are doing with intergovernmental cooperation.  What a great profession to be a part of! Visit the conference website at http://www.ilparksconference.com/

Happy 2015!

Lalake Katherine_bridge snow

On a recent visit to Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Garden in Palos Heights, the snow was glistening around the lake and visitors were out in abundance enjoying the trails.  Lake Katherine boasts 75 acres of park that include woodlands, prairie, wetlands, and gardens surrounding the 10 acre lake.  The gardens and trails are open in the winter for walking and biking and now include a new accessible bridge near the entrance of the Nature Center. The new metal bridge and trellis was designed by Upland Design who also oversaw its installation this fall. The bridge is part of… Find Out More Details…

Come See Us at 2015 IAPD/IPRA Conference January 22-23, 2015

UplandDesign ipra LOGO

Upland Design is Booth 623 this year for the Illinois Park Recreation Conference! Come visit us and see all the new things that are happening at Upland Design. We look forward to seeing you at the Conference! The 2015 IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference will be held January 22-24 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Chicago. As THE premier state conference for park and recreation professionals in Illinois, the conference proudly features 16 pre-conference workshops, more than 180 educational sessions, an exhibit hall where more than 325 exhibitors showcase their latest and greatest products and services, and a variety of networking opportunities. www.ilparksconference.com  

Hiawatha Park Playground Opens!

Hiawatha Park

New playground and splash pad renovations at Hiawatha Park on Chicago North side were welcomed with huge crowds at the Grand Opening on August 12, 2014. Dunning neighborhood residents were excited to see the new changes to their beloved park which included new accessible playground and swings with covered seating area and new water efficient splash pad area. Upland Design worked closely with residents, Alderman Sposato and the Chicago Park District to create a new dynamic playground that encourages kids to explore. The new playground features varying heights of mounds that challenge kids and offers new dimensions to traditional play… Find Out More Details…