Beresford Park Playground San Mateo, California
2017 Award of Excellence - California Parks and Recreations Society
San Mateo’s Beresford Park has something for everyone with ball fields, tennis courts, community garden plots, and picnic areas. The park’s playground had fallen into disrepair and Miller Company redesigned the area with a new state of the art custom playground. Our team worked closely with San Mateo recreation and parks staff and the community to be sure that the new playground provides all of the amenities that will delight and thrill children for years to come.
The new playground, which opened in August 2016, serves various age groups and is set in a natural environment with internal shade trees and a surround of boulders arranged for scrambling and interactive socializing. The architectural elements that make this play area incredibly unique are three rustic wooden towers that rise to varying heights in the center the playground. The towers evoke the villages of the indigenous California Miwok tribe and set the cultural theme. The interiors of the towers support distinctive play experiences. One tower contains a timber climbing maze resembling a cluster of giant ‘pickup sticks,’ which introduces balance, strength, and navigation challenges not found in a climbing grid with regular spacing. A vertical rope column is designed into the second tower challenging children to reach the upper platform areas helping to develop upper body strength. A winding stairway set inside the third tower provides access to the 80’ long wavy net climber called the “Net Serpent” that meanders into the open area of the playground. Playground lookouts in the towers serve as platforms entry points for two spiraling stainless steel tube slides that descend to ground level. The towers are connected with monkey bars and webbed bridges. Each tower provides accessible external climbing walls and ground level play events as well. Other play features include swings for children young and old, and a custom play structure for tots. Venturing into “Spin City,” children are engaged by a variety of whirling play equipment configured for different age groups.
To further support the theme and design concept evoking a Miwok Indian Village, a varied palette of native plant materials surround the playground including sages, grasses, Monkey Flower, California fuchsia and Ceanothus have been planted attracting butterflies and birds to the area. Shaded picnic areas were created at each end of the playground to accommodate parents, caregivers, and other park visitors with a comfortable location to enjoy the park and observe the play area. Trees were carefully placed to provide shade within the play area and provide a windbreak from the cool western winds that come over the nearby coastal mountains in the late afternoons.