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Kids Gone Wild! Nature Play in Westmoreland Park
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When: 7/23/2015
8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: Westmoreland Park
7125 SE McLoughlin Boulevard
Portland, OR  97202
Presenter: Lots of great folks! See below.
Contact: Stephanie Redman, ORPA Exec. Director

Online registration is closed.
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Nature play is all the rage with parents, kids, and park professionals, and the Westmoreland Park nature play area in Portland is a raging success!  Opened in September 2014, Westmoreland's natural play area includes a variety of features tailored to the site. Join us at the park for this "playful" day-long workshop that covers the design, construction, safety, and maintenance of natural play areas.

Co-hosted by Portland Parks & Recreation, park staff, designers, fabricators and ONPlay members will lead hands-on tours and "information stations" of the site. The day also includes indoor presentations about the play area at the nearby Moreland Presbyterian Church, along with topic-focused nature play discussion sessions. We've also got natural play related vendors on hand to showcase their products and services and answer your questions.

In particular, the workshop will explore the following.

  • Why and how nature-based play was chosen for this site
  • How safety and maintenance influenced the play area design and detailing
  • Lessons learned from log play feature fabrication, construction, and composition
  • Lessons learned from construction
  • How to work with log carpenters, masons, and play equipment fabricators to design custom play elements
  • Lessons learned from the first 10 months of operation
  • Lessons learned about how children use the space
  • Hands-on playtime and small group tours at various information stations



8:00 a.m.
 Workshop Check-In, Continental Breakfast, Visit with Vendors & Play
 8:30 a.m.

 Welcome & Introductions | Project and Park Overview

 8:50 a.m.
 Map Distribution & Walk to Nature Play Area
 9:00 a.m.
 Nature Play Area Tour | Station by Station
  • Sand Maintenance
  • Quiet Space
  • Sand & Water
  • Nature Play Construction
  • Log Fabrication
  • Safety & Composition
  • Log Longevity Objectives
  • Embankment Slides & Customized Equipment
  • Loose Parts
10:00 a.m.
 Walk to Moreland Presbyterian | Indoor Presentations
 Introduction to Nature Play:  Benefits | Photo Tour | Risk. Safety & Maintenance (led by ONPlay leaders)
The Westmoreland Story:  Pilot Project | Outreach | Budget | Design | Who & How We Built It | Risk & Safety | Maintenance | Lessons Learned
11:50 a.m.
 Walk to Park | BBQ Lunch | Visit with Vendors
 1:00 p.m.
 Small Group Break Out Discussions:  Maintenance | Design | Construction & Budget
 2:30 p.m.



See details below.



Registration is $60 for ORPA members and $75 for nonmembers.  Registration includes program, tours, continental breakfast, water, and a BBQ lunch at the park.  Participation is limited to 60 registrants and registration closes July 10, so don't delay!  As a bonus, Kids Gone Wild registrants can also mix-and-match sessions at ORPA's concurrent Heads Up! Irrigation Design & Systems Renovation workshop at no additional cost. Click here for Heads Up! details.



For questions on workshop content, contact Sandra Burtzos, PP&R Capital Project Manager III, by email or at 503.823.5594.

For questions about registration, contact Stephanie Redman, ORPA Executive Director, by email or at 503.867.8447.



Sandra Burtzos, Capital Project Manager III | Portland Parks & Recreation

Sandra has worked as a Capital Project Manager III with Portland Parks & Recreation for 9 years, and has practiced landscape architecture for 29 years. She has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from University of Illinois, an Association Montessori International Teaching Diploma for ages 3-6+ from Montessori Institute Northwest, and a Master of Education from Loyola University.  She served as the Portland Parks project manager for the Westmoreland Nature Play project.


Jaime English, Park Planner | Oregon Parks & Recreation Department


Jaime is the Senior Planner for Oregon State Parks and Recreation. With a background in recreation planning, playground design, summer camp master planning, and extensive experience building forts in Port Orford cedars with old fence boards in her childhood back yard, Jaime is an enthusiastic supporter of creative nature play.


Ben Johnson, Associate | GreenWorks, PC


Ben is a Landscape Architect, Project Manager, and Certified Playground Safety Inspector at GreenWorks with 16 years of experience designing parks for public agencies.  His experience and passion involves designing nature-based play environments using natural materials that engage both children and adults with creativity, place making, and safety as priorities.

Matt Kemper, Owner | Oregon Log Home Co.
Ed Lockett, Owner | Stone Sculptures Inc.
Steven Kirn, Sales Manager | Columbia Cascade Company

Steve is Sales Manager of Portland-based Columbia Cascade Company and has more than 25 years of experience designing and manufacturing children’s playground equipment for public facilities worldwide.  His specialty is the successful development of new playground products not found in any manufacturer’s catalog.

Michelle Mathis, Principal | Learning Landscapes Design, LLC

Michelle is a landscape architect with over 12 years of experience managing and designing projects that connect young people to nature and their communities.  Her company’s work includes: park, school, early childhood, and family destination sites. She has a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on whole systems design for education, which she couples with her strong design sense to create spaces that are engaging and intrinsically support learning.

Art Meisner, COO | Cascadian Landscapers

Art has 40 years of experience in the landscape industry.  He is the designated Responsible Managing Individual (RMI) of the company. He is licensed by the State of Oregon as a Landscape Professional in All Phases including Backflow, is a Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor (CLIA), is licensed by the Department of Agriculture as a Commercial Pesticide Applicator in both Oregon and Washington, is certified by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI), and is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector by the National Playground Safety Institute.  All licenses are maintained through continuing education classes on a yearly basis.

Betsy Redfearn, Maintenance Supervisor | Portland Parks & Recreation

Betsy has a degree in horticulture, and has worked in all aspects of the trade in retail nurseries, wholesale nurseries, landscaping, and parks for her entire 40 year career.  She has been working for Portland Parks since 1989, starting out as a gardener, then was promoted to a maintenance supervisor.  Betsy was an advocate for the pilot nature play area to be built at Westmoreland, and together with her staff, has stewarded it since it was built.

Bryan Rose | Cascadian Landscapers

Bryan has been with the company for 15 years and attended Portland Community College, studying under the Landscape Technology program. To date he has been awarded an Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer Degree. He holds his Commercial Drivers License in the State of Oregon, is licensed by the State of Oregon as a Landscape Profession in phases of Irrigation and Backflow, is a Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor (CLIA), holds a license by the Department of Agricultural as a Commercial Pesticides Applicator in Oregon, and is certified by Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) in paver installation.

Rod Wojtanik, Principal Parks Designer | Metro
Rod is responsible for design and construction of parks, trail and natural area development. He is a registered landscape architect and member of the Oregon Natural Play Initiative. Rod has been interested in advancing the subject of play for over 20 years. In 1991, while still in college, he asked the question, “Is it possible to create a play environment which fosters enjoyable, creative play without the use of traditional, manufactured play equipment?” His research and project work has revealed that it is possible and that these types of play experience create memorable experiences for all.

Oregon Recreation & Park Association | PO Box #202, Lake Oswego OR 97034 | 503.534.5673
ORPA is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization