Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday in the Park

This week in Michigan is a very welcome respite from cold and snow, a spring thaw, sunny with temperatures in the 60s. Although Michiganders know better than to trust that the mild weather has come to stay, they take advantage while they can. Doors fly open, people hurry outside finding any reason to be outdoors. Kids, giddy with excitement, run, jump, spin, and scream with joy.

There’s a small city park in the middle of Birmingham (or “Trendingham,” as one friend calls it), an affluent city of beautiful old homes and upscale shopping. I heard that the park had been remodeled so I stopped to see and to watch the kids play for awhile. The park has been redone in a delightfully natural way – labyrinths, tunnels, “thrones” carved out of rock, wooden playscape, turf hill, amphitheatre for summer concerts - all connected to a riverside nature trail.  I just had to share some images from this delightful little city park.

Thrones fit for a prince and princess ...

Play tic-tac-toe!

Who needs fancy equipment? Give the kids some astroturf and a piece of cardboard!

They even managed to insert some teaching with a replica of the town's historic hose tower ...

I stopped at this park originally to fulfill an assignment for the writing course I'm taking.  Here's part of my description for the course of the "unexpected art" I found today.

As I settled in for a minute to watch the kids, I spotted it – my unexpected art: the top of the swing set decorated with colorful tiles made and signed by the city’s children. There’s hearts and flowers and flags. There’s Max and Harrison and Clare! There’s stars and trees and boats. And look – there’s Brooklyn, and Theo and Henry and Charlie! Here’s Regan and Madison and … J-e-? Boy or girl? That last letter is just a paint-smeared blob! What fun! I smiled as I read these colorful masterpieces and imagined that these children will come back again and again as they grow to see their childhood preserved for all to see and enjoy!

Another thing that struck me was that on the list of donors plaque, some families had included quotes or phrases with their names. I couldn't resist turning those phrases into an imaginary signpost for this park. 


 What a delightful sunny day!


  1. Really nice post, Felicia.
    Love the tiles and sayings. Quite a park.

  2. Hi Christine,
    It was such a nice day - good for the spirit!

  3. Hi FELICIA!
    My kids love that park, even though they are getting too big for it now. It is a great space. You caught it's emotions perfectly in photos and in words! You have a special gift! You should get an A in that class. :)

    See you Friday!

    xoxo, Mary

  4. What a wonderful park! And, the 1st paragraph of your blog, captures those wonderful first spring days when we all seem to burst through the cold winter into the sunny days.
    When I was around 4 we lived in Tennessee - on top of a hill and we had more fun with cardboard boxes sliding down that grassy hill - what a great idea to include something so simple like that. And the art over the swings - how fun - I may just have to send our mayor a link to your blog with the suggestion we make a park like that here.
    Love your sign posts with that wonderful blue sky!

  5. What a gorgeous park, and I know you enjoyed your early taste of spring!

  6. Now that astroturf slide looks like a BLAST!!

    Your park sign is adorable!

  7. Thank you all! It was such a nice day (and week). Alas, it all ends on Saturday when the cold front comes in. Temps are supposed to pick up again next week so we're definitely on our way to Spring!

  8. Felicia! I Love this post. The photos are great - the colors are just fun. Kids know how to mix it up for sure and Brooklyn was even present - I feel like a little of my town and yours came together. LOL the piece you created was so awesome. I said it before but I will say it again I think this is one of your best pieces! And you know that class your taking, like Sleepy Mama said you should get an A for sure!!


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