The Environmental Playground

Old yearbook pic doesn't really do it justice.

Old yearbook pic doesn’t really do it justice.

When I was a kid was my first knowledge of the word environmental came from the school’s biggest and most popular playground. It was known as the Environmental Playground. I have no idea how it got this name other than it was made of wood and sat on bark. You would think a 90% wooden playground would be bad for the environment but maybe all those trees had it coming.

There was even one slide there that was entirely made of wood. I don’t know if it was placeholder and they forgot to put a regular slide in or what. Sometimes if you were feeling brave you would risk the splinters, especially if it was a hot day and all the metal ones would burn you. Usually the metal slides were taken over by kids who played hot lava. I forgot how hot lava went exactly but I think you had to climb up the slide and not get knocked down by all the kids trying to push or pull you down. It was violent but so are most kids’ games if you put the children in charge.

The playground was 2 levels and there was an open spot where kids would hurl them off just for the hell of it. One time a kid did this and fell directly on top of me by mistake. Luckily I have strong bones and was fine.

When kids were not hurling themselves off the big playground they would go to one of the other ones and play on the bars and rings. The girls would do things like the cherry drop, and the daddy drop and the double death drop. I am terribly uncoordinated so I never got farther than the daddy drop but that was fine with me. You have to know your limits. I also refused to go down the pole,. So I guess neither firefighting or stripping are in the cards for me.

Every time I pass my old elementary school today, I am glad I grew up back in the day. Now they have one of those super boring looking playgrounds with too much padding everywhere. I kind of wish the old Environmental Playground and I also think it would be a cool band name.


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