In 1993 a group of some 4000 dedicated citizens and public servants collaborated to build a quarter-acre playground adjacent to the namesake mountain in Mt. Trashmore Park. Heavily timbered and mulched, the aging playground did not comply with some of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and it was well past its projected life cycle. Enter the new vision: a new and expanded, fully accessible, state-of-the-art playground designed to simultaneously handle individual and group demands. Open in November of 2010, the new $1.4 million playground is a colorful half-acre space with double-wide ramps and decks to comply with ADA requirements, but is still designed to pay homage to the original playground. It was designed and located so the original Kids Cove could remain intact until it was complete, thus not interrupting playtime for thousands of children. Voila!—a seamless transition from old to new. As the first phase of a larger master plan, this project greatly expands on what was already a destination playground in Virginia Beach and located in one of the most popular municipal parks in the country.
The site is located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed and innovates 4600 cubic feet of storm water storage under the playground surface. Complicating this feature is the pre-existence of a clay membrane overlaying the landfill that formerly occupied the site of Mt. Trashmore Park. Every detail, including the equipment footings, pavements, and utilities had to respond to this condition. And every detail has been masterfully synchronized in accordance with this unusual environment.