Playground Transformed Into Tourist Draw and Educational Resource


Augusto Ricci, a Geometrician with the Municipality of Arco di Trento wondered if there might be a way to transform a small playground next to the bike trail near the Sarca River into a more engaging spot for tourists. Mr. Ricci was intrigued by the possible use of water play in a new installation that might engage families touring the bike trail, while also providing an educational resource for nearby schools.

Mr. Ricci contacted Vortex International, known for its innovative, aquatic play solutions and products, via local partner Giochisport located in Milan. After some discussions, Mr. Ricci chose the Labyrinth module of the Water Journey™ line as a replacement for the playground.

The Labyrinth module of Water Journey™ is inspired by nature's flowing streams and provides children of all ages and abilities with the opportunity to discover the relationship between cause and effect while playing with water. Mr. Ricci thought that the Labyrinth would be the perfect solution for an installation to replace the playground because it would mimic the behavior and activities of the nearby Sarca river.

At Comune di Arco, the Water Journey™ along the Labyrinth begins when a visitor pulls a lever, releasing water that drops and streams into various pathways. Children discover the different ways water flows when it encounters creeks, flood plains, ripples and cascades. Children can further enhance the water's journey as they manipulate gates and water mills that change the water's direction and introduce new effects. By sending an object such as a boat, stick or rubber toy into the flow, visitors can follow the toy as it encounters these various barriers and explore interactions between the water and the object.

Visitors to the Labyrinth don't even need a bathing suit to enjoy this stimulating aquatic experience. Since they stay fully clothed, children can enjoy the Labyrinth experience in a variety of seasons. In fact, the Water Journey™ Labyrinth module at Comune di Arco is used from early spring until late autumn. And because it is fully accessible, regardless of age or ability, the Labyrinth encourages socialization and interaction opportunities for all children.

The installation has also provided an additional resource for nearby schools as it demonstrates to students the characteristics of a local irrigation system. And because it is interactive, students are more likely to acquire this knowledge and develop an understanding of how the causes and effects of their actions can impact the flow of water.

Ultimately, the Labyrinth installation at Comune di Arco has been a hit with tourists, teachers and students. Mr. Ricci reports that the area has become more attractive and people are more interested in spending their time in this little park.

  • Solution Types Water Journey™
  • Location Italy
  • Project Types RECREATION & EDUCATION
    - Parks & Aquatic Centers
  • Opened June 2016

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