The brave new world of play!

Mar 3, 2015
Chris Hambrick

On a warm and sunny Wednesday afternoon I meet Curt Wear at Lincoln Square Park in Oakland’s Chinatown. Wear is the President of Community Playgrounds, and he builds and installs playground equipment in parks like this one. He says this playground looks very different from when he first started in the business. What he describes takes me down memory lane to when I was a child in the mid-seventies.

"It was pretty much a steel monkey bar, which is a horizontal ladder, a jungle gym climber, which was a conical shaped climber,” and he says, “usually a framed swing set."

Courtesy of Playworks

Morning recess at Ruby Bridges Elementary School in Alameda is a boisterous affair, made even louder today by a strong wind that blows across the concrete yard, billowing kids’ shirts and ruffling their hair. Over at one end of the long yard is a playing field where Coach Kenny Wong is supervising about 20 children.