National Parks and Rec Month: Project Spotlight

Happy National Parks and Recreation Month!

Municipal spaces, near and dear to our hearts, are something we love to explore and talk about. In previous blogs, we’ve discussed The 10 Minute Walk To a Park Initiative [x] and our work to standardize splash pad safety [x]. We’ve especially taken joy in sharing the public splash pads we’ve designed through the years: Bloomington, MN [x], Westfield, NY [x] Clarksville, TN [x].

This July we’re celebrating three municipal projects that embody the importance of Parks and Recreation.

Shoreview Community Center (Shoreview, MN)

Even before we were a company, the Tropics Indoor Waterpark has been an important part of the Life Floor story.  Growing up in Minnesota, several of us found our love for aquatics at this community center. Now we’re watching our kids swim in this same center thanks to the city’s dedication to educational and fun aquatic programs and facilities.

In 2017 the City of Shoreview became an even greater part of the Life Floor story. The city announced a 13 million dollar expansion, with City Manager Terry Schwerm noting, “We’re really trying to make sure the whole community remains a really desirable place for young families.” (x) With this new focus in mind, the Shoreview Community Center is refurbishing the current indoor Tropics Waterpark, and expanding the aquatics facilities to include a new zero depth splash pool and multi level play structure, With our early childhood ties, our team is thrilled to be part of the refurbishment project, providing a color palette to fit the water park’s theme of tropical, beach fun.

Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo Memorial Splash Pad (Town of Huntington, NY)

We are highlighting this project for National Parks and Recreation month because it showcases an important aspect of public spaces: memorializing the life and impact of a notable member in the community. This public splash pad was built for the children and families of Huntington, NY to memorialize and honor Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo who was killed in the line of duty in 2016 (x).  “Sgt. Tuozzolo’s wife, Lisa Tuozzolo, and all those who knew him through the NYPD and SCPD wanted to do something to memorialize his dedication to family and community” (x).

This splash pad became Huntington’s first, and features dump buckets, spray hoops, nearby benches and memorial trellis. The splash pad allows visiting loved ones to honor Sgt. Tuozzolo while children of Huntington interact and play with each other to create a community of shared experience at Elwood Park. Because pools, parks, recreation centers and green spaces aren’t just resources for the community to use, they are often what builds and brings a community together.  

Elk Grove (Elk Grove Village, IL)

The Pavilion Aquatics Center in Elk Grove, IL is a wonderful testament to how parks and recreation programs can grow with a community. The Pavilion, officially named Jack A. Claes Pavilion Community Center, commemorates the 29-year-long career of Jack Claes as the district’s only Executive Director. During his career, Claes expanded the parks and recreation program from “a few rented rooms”(x) to a rich and varied experience. "We built the programs up and the community responded," Claes said. "Now there's an endless stream of people going in and out.”

Life Floor has had the honor of being part of the program’s growth with installations at Rainbow Falls Waterpark, the Pavilion Aquatics Center, and Fountain Square Park. Our team has loved visiting these facilities to witness the hub of activity and fun for everyone in Elk Grove Village.

A big THANK YOU to all the parks and recreation professionals who build up our communities and create safe, fun spaces for everyone to enjoy. Happy National Parks and Recreation Month!