Master Plan Approval, What’s Next?

Dear Defenders of Adventure Playground,

While late to update, we would like to make it known that the AP Master Plan was approved by the Community Services planning commission on June 6th. This means that the city has officially recognized our collective vision of AP and will now begin to draft construction drawings of the park’s features with the help of the contracted design firm EPT. The construction drawings are the nuts and bolts of the new park, and will serve as a “scope of work” that will be used to receive project bids from actual construction companies. In essence, they draw a picture of a zip line and ask “How much?”.

Once the park has a price tag, it’s put to vote by city council. They choose whether or not to approve the funding. If they give the thumbs up, are are ready to roll. This may happen sooner than later. At the last public workshop, city staffer Marie Luna had encouragingly announced that it was the city’s goal to open AP by Summer 2013.

For the time being, we are left waiting for city staff and EPT to bring the Master Plan’s concepts to life. How they actually implement features such as the rock climbing wall, ropes course and tree houses, waterfall, and castle theater is basically out of our hands. We are left to trust that those in charge are dialed into the community’s wavelength. Having seen how city and EPT staff have collaborated so well with us at the public workshops, we are encouraged that this is the case. Still, it’s a bit unnerving being removed from the design process.

Stay tuned for future updates.

Defenders of Adventure Playground

p.s Teryl Zarnow of the OC Register just published an article about our Defend AP saga online as well as in print. The print issue comes out this Sunday in the local section. Teryl was great to work with and we are grateful for her interest and the exposure that AP is getting from her article. Kudos to Cindy Yamanaka for taking some great shots. You can find the online article here.


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Adventure Playground Master Plan

The AP master plan is here!

THIS is a link to the public hearing agenda for this Wednesday, which contains another link to the AP master plan.

It’s 221 pages, but the meat and potatoes are in the first ten pages, which touches on the parks play features, staffing, hours, parking, landscape, and financial details. Everything here seems to match up with what was reached during the public workshops.

Following these initial pages is a quick overview of the information presented at the public workshops, followed by pictograph reports of the designer’s visits to various playgrounds in Southern California in order to research concepts for AP. The visits include, but are not limited to, Huntington Beach AP, Yorba Linda, AP, and Berkeley AP.

At about page 55 you will find a list of existing materials that will be kept for the new renovation. The list is rather small, with just some rocks, plastic tunneling, and the pirate ship wheel, etc. The most important thing here is that they are keeping the trees! This is noted much earlier in the first ten pages as well.

Following this section is the existing conditions report that we requested at the beginning of our saga. Here you will find details of the structural state of the AP facilities, along with certain “no-nos” concerning ADA and other technical stuff like distance between rail posts, improper hiding areas, lack of “fall-protection”, drainage, and a whole slew of things that could get you hurt. This report is basically a front seat view to the clash between the old school ‘break-your arm climbing that thing and learn yourself a lesson days’, and the days of, ‘my kid broke his arm on that awful pirate ship and now I’m suing you’ days. AP goes through the ringer here, and the best review I can give of what happened is that none of us on the Defenders side had the time, expertise, or patience to knit pick each line item and push for a itemized restoration of each individual problem. To pay homage to the Challenger and Adventurer, there were no structural complaints, only regulatory ones. Those babies were built solid.

Following the existing conditions report is WHOLE LOT of information relating to parking. Apparently figuring out parking is a lot of work, but the general consensus is that everything is cool as long as any big reservations are controlled by city staff, and the focus is on drop-in’s and contract classes. I will admit, I never would have imagined so much work went into figuring out parking. We’re talking a dozen or more pages.

Next up is the environmental impact report. This deals with topography in relation to ADA access as well as storm water runoff, recirculation, and drainage. This section is the longest and most detailed. If you ever wanted to know what a government bureaucracy looks like, you can get a pretty good idea here. We’re talking about reporting who the original indigenous native Americans were that inhabited this land centuries ago. Not even Paleontology gets left behind here! This is the main bulk of the report; nearly 100 pages of some determined soul’s work jumping though dozens of hoops and coming out the other end with a stamp of “no-impact”. Nothing here jumped out at me as concerning, but I didn’t do much here other than hit page down in 3 or 4 second intervals.

Lastly is some more technical detail relating to the approval of the modification by the planning commission.

After an initial and cursory review, nothing seems to have set off any alarms on this end. It appears the main features and concepts agreed upon in the public workshops are reflected here. The finer details of the park features such as the pond, ropes course, rock wall, and ‘build your own adventure’ are still unclear. These things have the potential to be either really awesome or really lame, and there is not much telling yet. Maybe as the re-construction process develops, us Defenders will get to collaborate on such fine details. As for now, things look right on paper, which leaves us to say yes to the master plan. Unless something new comes to light, let’s hope the planning commission on Wednesday agrees.


Defenders of Adventure Playground

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June 6th. 2012 Public Hearing

Dear Defenders,

There will be a public hearing Wednesday June 6th, 5:30 pm @ City Council Chambers, Irvine City Hall to approve the Adventure Playground renovation master plan.

To provide a quick update, Irvine staff, community members, and the landscape architectural firm EPTDesign, have met at several public workshops to design a plan for the re-construction and re-opening of Adventure Playground. Following the final workshop, both City Staff and EPT have created a “Master Plan” that reflects the wishes of the community as stated at the public workshop.

The next step in the process is to present the master plan for approval to the Community Services Planning Commission at Wednesday’s public hearing. But here’s the catch: the hearing is on Wednesday June 6th, and as of today Saturday June 2nd, the master plan has yet to be released to the public! City staff are late in publishing the plan on the promised June 1st release date. We’ll have just over 48 hours to actually read the plan before it goes to approval on Wednesday (if we get it by Monday).

Stay tuned for the next update once we have the plan in hand.

Until then, set your calendar for this Wednesday at 5:30, Irvine City Hall.


Defenders of Adventure Playground

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AP Nov. 30 Workshop

Please join us as we meet in University Park to participate in the Adventure Playground Public Workshop tomorrow November 30 @ 6:30 pm. We are in the process of formailizing the way the park will run and encourage you to show your support for an AP that enables hands on construction and organic adventurous play.

Thank you

Defenders of Adventure Playground

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Calling All Photographers

Dear AP die-hards,

Do you have photos of the good times you spent letting loose at Adventure Playground stashed away somewhere in your closet or hard-drive? If so, we invite you to bring em out! We are compiling an AP photo album and would love to include the muddiest splinteriest grittiest grimiest of the shots in our collection, not to mention anything else that shows a smiling face, hard-worker, or creative individual.

We can use old film negatives, slides, scan printed photos, jpegs, you name it. Just let us know and we will supply you with a mailing address or just email ’em.

p.s We are expecting a September AP public workshop so stay tuned!

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Second Official Community Meeting

TODAY! is the 2nd official Adventure Playground Community Meeting at University Community Park. We are off to a positive start after our March meeting and we hope to see more AP supporters attend today’s meeting at 6:30 pm.

To recap the meeting from last month:
The city along with the design firm EPT hosted a workshop where community members were able to brainstorm ideas for Adventure Playground and present them to the group. These ideas have gone into review and will be addressed at today’s meeting. It was a basic and introductory meeting and we expect to begin getting down to specifics today and in later meetings as we narrow down AP’s design.

Please come out and show your support today at 6:30 p.m in our next AP community workshop!


Alex Hillenbrand
Defenders of Adventure Playground

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1st Official Development Meeting

Dear Defenders,

The city of Irvine is hosting the first official planning meeting regarding AP’s reconstruction THIS Thursday March 24. The meeting is at 6:30 pm in the University Community Park multi-purpose room. Please come out and give your input on what you want AP to become.

Now is the time get creative and put our ideas in motion!

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