Play Chastain

Play Chastain was part of the 20-year Master Plan for Atlanta’s Chastain Park. As a member of the design team with Harrison Design Associates and the Atlanta Taskforce on Play (ATOP–later PlayAtlanta), NLI led creation of the design program to re-vision an existing, worn-out playground. 

NLI conducted a community survey, facilitated a stakeholder workshop, made community presentations, and contributed evidence-based design thinking for children and families to inform program development and landscape design. 

ATOP, led by Cynthia Gentry, greatly expanded participation by children, families, and the Atlanta community in the design process through a series of “play days” at the site, a hands-on exhibit at the Arts Center, and presentations at local schools. Scores of ideas were gathered from kids and others – like the “giant hill slide” – adding richness to the design program and the eventual built work.

Opened in 2017, the 40,000 square foot playground, linked to Chastain Park trails, is fully accessible, and features a series of age-appropriate play spaces and activity settings for toddlers through teenagers. The renovated, expanded site also includes a performance pavilion, restroom facilities, and parking. 

Chastain Park is the largest park in Atlanta. It borders the city’s northern boundary, encompassing 268 acres of rolling terrain, majestic hardwood trees, and almost 8 miles of trails. Founded in the 1930s, the historic park is surrounded by forested neighborhoods and draws over a million visitors each year to its scenic beauty and diverse activities.


Download the Play Chastain Summary Design Program:

See Atlanta Parent Press Release:

See Atlanta Mom Press Release:

“Chastain Park has perhaps, the most unique and fun playground in all of Atlanta. It was recently renovated and reopened and has equipment that you won’t find in any other playground in the area! From (wheelchair accessible) treehouses to hillside roller slides, to flying saucer swings, my kids are constantly asking to go back and play at Chastain.”

– Laura, Atlanta Mom

Design plan view with labeled settings (NLI, 2012)

Illustrative aerial view (Harrison Design Associates, 2012)

Grateful thanks to partner Atlanta Taskforce on Play’s Cynthia Gentry for her leadership and photographs presented here:

Play days


Stakeholder Workshop (2-day)

Atlanta Art Center “Exploratorium”

Community Presentation

NLI Co-Founder Robin Moore presenting Play Chastain.