North Bank Playground

The Story that Shaped the Inland Northwest

The Ice Age Floods Playground project is one of five major park elements identified in the Riverfront Park Master Plan that was funded by a 2014, $64 million bond to redevelop the park. Bernardo Wills Architects provided public engagement, prepared permit/construction drawings and bidding phase services. Construction of the .35-acre playground began in February of 2020 and includes a themed play area, splash pad, open play, specialty basketball court, wheels park, landscaping, lighting, new maintenance, and operations/public restroom facility, and parking with innovative stormwater solutions.

The playground is seen as an outdoor learning and play experience that tells the story of how the Ice Age Floods, specifically the Great Missoula Flood, shaped our region. Because of the dynamic nature of the floods and the rich imagery of its components, its story can be transformed into an exciting play environment that offers rich, multi-dimensional learning opportunities. It aims to provide a completely interactive and fun way for children, families, and interested people to learn about our region’s unique geologic history.

The goal of the playground is to create an adaptive, safe, dynamic, high-quality, nature-based play/learn environment for children of all abilities and their families. It will be incredibly unique in its capacity to provide both passive and active recreation with age-appropriate play areas for children to interact with water and landscape features depicting the region’s geologic story.

Additional components of the project include:
Innovative stormwater design
Sand play area
Preserved natural basalt bluff
Climbing walls
Slide tower
Interpretive signage
Hooptown USA basketball court
Roskelley Memorial Climbing Boulder

Client: City of Spokane
Location: Spokane, Washington
Size: .35-acre playground within a 6.5-acre park area
Completed: 2021

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