Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Mapping the Playgrounds

On a recent visit to Philadelphia, I came across Zora Plays, a playground mapping and documentation project by Michael Froehlich and his daughter Zora. They began visiting nearby playgrounds in West Philly, eventually expanded throughout the city and have now documented 162 playgrounds. Each has a detailed map.
This is the Jerome Brown Playground in North Philadelphia. A close-up shows the remarkable level of detail, especially considering how many playgrounds they have visited.
There are detailed reviews of each playground and lots of photos. I'm impressed that they have fearlessly ventured into some pretty rough neighborhoods with open minds and found some very nice playgrounds there - and a few that could use some TLC. Each page includes a linked google map like this,

and there is also an interactive map so you can browse geographically.
There is a link to reviews on a similar blog, the Philadelphia Playground Project. That project has covered the city more completely but they didn't map the playground facilities. let alone do it with this level of detail.
On my childhood visits to my Grandmother's apartment, I remember playing in Rittenhouse Square. There is no playground there (though climbing on the goat statue was lots of fun) so it does not make this list. However, nearby Fitler Square with its bear and turtle sculptures is on the list so I will finish with a map from my personal past.

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