PCL’s Special Projects team built a world-class nature inspired interactive play space in a densely wooded corner of the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo and navigated various complexities to complete the project without disturbing the natural ecosystem.

The exhibit includes a 30’ tall prefabricated precast tree trunk and rope bridges and towers that connect the tree trunk to surrounding playground elements. The interactive nature-themed play space offers children of all ages an exciting introduction to the beautiful world of bugs.

The zoo’s tree protection program required the project team to preserve all healthy trees in the area while constructing the 14,000-square-foot playground. The project team implemented root protection zones and used rig mats and plywood protection to shield the roots from heavy equipment.

To prevent business disruptions and maintain public safety, the project team developed innovative solutions such as drilling directionally to connect the site with a fiber line to remove the need for trenching, installing a 300-millimetre-deep wood fiber surface to increase user safety and adding a breathability layer to ensure the long-term health of the area’s trees.

PCL’s solution-provider mentality and eagerness to adopt innovative solutions helped the team deliver a high-quality project and successful outcome for the client. 

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