Photo of Chapin Hall, home of the Cali School of Music

Sneak Peek: Innovative New Playground at Montclair YMCA

Montclair Art and Design students evolve children’s play at YMCA

Posted in: College News and Announcements, Department of Art and Design News

Students working on YMCA Playgorund project

The Geyer Family YMCA and the Department of Art and Design at Montclair State University have collaborated in the design, fabrication and installation of an inventive playground located directly behind the Geyer Family YMCA. Scheduled to open this Fall, the playground will include a creative approach to inclusive and synergistic play.

Overview of YMCA playground design
Buddy Evans, President and CEO of the Montclair YMCA speaks on behalf of the project saying that the YMCA donors were very supportive and Montclair State University were very excited to jump on board; it was a “tremendous community effort”.

In an era where obesity is becoming more of an issue for children, Evans also commends the playground’s goals of encouraging active play for children. He states, “Forming healthy habits at a young age puts children on a path to improved health outcomes.”

YMCA playground models on display in gallery
student showing model of playground
The playground embarks on a general underlying theme, the rainbow. This theme is chosen because of its reference to color, enchantment , exploration and discovery. Components of the playground are also chosen based on features that enhance cooperation, inclusion, physical development and challenges.
YMCA Playground visualizations
YMCA Playground diagrams

To maintain the theming and focus on growth and imagination, it consists of a plethora of activities. Such recreational pieces include a play tower, an ADA staircase, slides, sand, waterplay and more.

Students at workbench working on models
Wider view of workbench with artists working on models

This outstanding venture would not have been possible without the talents and bright minds of the following students:

  • Nicolas Sarmiento ‘20, Industrial Design
  • Wenci Huang ‘20, Industrial Design
  • Jackson Yeakel ‘20, Industrial Design
  • Sona Bayrami ‘19, Visual Arts
  • Stephanie Romano ‘21, Visual Communications Design.

Montclair Professor Gary Fredriksen says of the project, “We also wanted to include unique elements that connect the playground to the Montclair community.” This playground is in the works for any child who has been affiliated with the YMCA as well as serving as a public playground.

Learn more about the Product Design program at Montclair State.Learn more about the YMCA Playground project.