Our Design Team
Wendy Welch, of Wendy Welch Garden Design, joined the PlayGarden team in 2008. As Lead Garden Designer, she designed our butterfly garden, living roof and living fence, Wild Zone, and our Water Wise Garden. She provided an overall planting plan and color expertise for our custom climbing mound. www.wendywelchgardendesign.com
Daniel is a professor at the University of Washington's Department of Landscape Architecture, and a founding member of the PlayGarden design team. He lent his talent and expertise in designing therapeutic gardens to the overall site plan for the PlayGarden. In addition to his teaching, Daniel is the principal of Winterbottom Design, Inc., a Seattle based landscape architecture and site planning firm.
Jeff served as Lead Architect for our buildings. Jeff is a LEED AP-certified architect registered in Washington and New York State. Jeff has worked as an architect in Seattle since 2001, after having worked in New York City for several years. Committed to design, detailing, and environmental sustainability, Jeff embraces the challenge of creating and realizing other people's dreams through architecture.
The visionary behind the Seattle Children's PlayGarden, Liz has worked in the Seattle area as a Speech-Language Pathologist serving young children and their families for 20 years before becoming the Executive Director of the PlayGarden in 2006. She founded the PlayGarden in 2002 in recognition of the right for all children to play outdoors, a firm belief that guided her efforts in the design of the PlayGarden.
Gay Naganuma Burton
Gay has worked in hospital, school, and early intervention settings as a pediatric physical therapist since 1984. She has been at Boyer Children's Clinic since 1987 and is currently the Therapy Department Coordinator. An avid home gardener, Gay was thrilled to participate in design of the PlayGarden and combine her love of growing flowers and edibles with her professional experience fostering the motor development of young children.
Robin Warmby Laskowski
With a Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education and a Graduate Certificate in Infant Mental Health from the University of Washington, Robin's work focuses on supporting young children with special needs and their families. Robin is thrilled to witness families and children of all abilities come together to grow and learn in the outdoors, and has been a committed member of the PlayGarden team since 2002.
Jennifer Carlson, of Haven Illustrated, joined the design in 2010 as a consultant for our Water Wise Garden. She designed storm water catchment and rainwater harvest systemswww.havenillustrated.com
Eli joined the design team in 2004 and inspired the volcano theme of our custom climbing
Our state-of-the-art facility has been
designed to be accessible and eco-friendly.
- Examples of unique features include the following:
- A custom climbing structure is designed to encourage and enable individuals using all forms of mobility to reach the top. This "volcano" play feature is the centerpiece of our Family Play Plaza.
- The kitchen features cabinet heights and appliances that are accessible to wheelchair users.
- An induction cooktop allows the glass surface to remain cool to the touch while only heating the intended pot, as a safety measure to prevent burns.
- Durable low-maintenance materials are used to respond to the rigors of gardening and cooking activities.
- A Water Wise Garden includes a hybrid bioswale/raingarden that manages rainwater onsite and keeps it out of the aging City system.
- A cistern harvests rainwater for use in watering the garden.
- A Living Roof reduces rainwater runoff and regulates the temperature of the roof.
Rainwater Management Project
Through a grant from the King County Storm Water Management Program, the PlayGarden installed a rainwater harvesting system for use in watering our vegetable gardens. A trellis runs from the gutters off the south side of the Field House directing rainwater in to a 3,000-gal cistern.
We also expanded the existing stormwater runoff system on the lower, south level of the site so that it functions as a hybrid bioswale-raingarden, allowing rainwater from the entire PlayGarden site to be absorbed on site rather than draining to the sewer.
The system was designed by Jennifer Carlson and Wendy Welch, and installed by Cathie Anderson and a crew from the Conservation Corps.