Add Event My Events Log In

Upcoming Events

    We see you appreciate a good vintage. But there comes a time to try something new. Click here to head over to the redesigned It's where you'll find all of our latest work. And plenty of the good ol' stuff, too, looking better than ever.


    Print this page

    By Anne Marshall

    Photo by Aaron Kingsbury

    It resembles a talon, perhaps from a hawk the size of a Boeing 747. About 10 feet in diameter at the top and nearly 20 feet tall, Louisville’s newest play structure at Joe Creason Park, across from the zoo, is unlike the colorful metal and plastic contraptions familiar to parks. It’s all natural, the remnants of an Osage orange tree destined for the chainsaw after it grew sideways, obstructing a sidewalk at Shawnee Park.

    This “natural play structure,” as its called by Metro Parks, is the brainchild of director Seve Ghose. As regional director of parks in Portland, Oregon, he turned a sycamore tree that had been cut down to make room for a public-housing project into a play structure. Just shaved the bark, turned it upside down and capped it. People loved it. 

    Since installing the tree structure in April, Ghose has seen kids climb and swing from it.  It’s ripe for a good game of tag. Someone hung a hammock one sunny afternoon. “The goal is to see a few more in the next few months,” Ghose says of the structures that will dot other parks throughout the city. They’re novel, yes. And cheap. Really, just labor costs. Traditional playground equipment can cost up to $100,000. The tree version may lack slides or swings, but a stretch of the imagination often leads to the best play. 

    This originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, click here. To find you very own copy of Louisville Magazine, click here. 

    Share On:

    Most Read Stories