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Hillside Park

The region’s first hillside play space

  • 6.5


  • Sacramento, California

    Sacramento, California

A creative recreational area design for a new suburban community

How do you build a park with a limited budget and on a challenging site? One word: creativity. In 2006, the housing bubble burst and in Northern California, design plans were placed on hold for Hillside Park, a unique, eight-acre site located in a new northwest Rancho Cordova subdivision. The economy improved by 2014, but the budget remained idle—until now. We dusted off the plans and engaged our designers to chart a course through this challenging terrain.

The site was integrated into the stormwater management and open-space program for the community. Its perimeter had elevation changes of more than 15 feet with 30 per cent slopes, and was considered a “hill” by most valley residents. The team established early on that the hill was an asset and developed creative ways to integrate this topography into the design.

Solutions for the project included drought-tolerant native and adapted plantings to stabilize slopes, an innovative integration of hillside and level play-space, and rolling topography to deliver accessible paths to the lower picnic grounds and play fields. Colors, plantings, and textures were used to unify the site’s features.

On opening day, over 1,000 residents came out to enjoy the new park and the view from atop the region’s first hillside play space.

At a Glance

2017 CARPD Award: Awards of Distinction Outstanding New Facility
2016 ASLA Award: California Sierra Chapter Design Awards Honor Award, Parks/Open Space
Meet Our Team

Dalton LaVoie, Senior Associate, Landscape Architect

Our work should set the stage for life to grow—both on a personal level and in the natural world.
Dalton LaVoie Senior Associate, Landscape Architect Read More

Paul Marcillac, Senior Principal, Community Development

My job is to create public and sustainable environments that enhance social and well-being to the communities I work in.
Paul Marcillac Senior Principal, Community Development Read More

Dalton LaVoie

Senior Associate, Landscape Architect

Paul Marcillac

Senior Principal, Community Development

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