Washoe County Family Engagement Center

Client: Washoe County Family Engagement Center
Location: Sparks, NV
Size: 2,700 SF

The Washoe County Family Engagement Center is a place for families to meet, interact, relax and grow together. Families working toward reunification have a place of exploration and healing to call home.

One main driver for the studioMLA landscape design team in reimagining the Washoe County Family Engagement Center was to focus on the rehabilitation of the families served and to facilitate the creation of positive relationships. Emphasis was placed on designing the outdoor playscape— the one place where families were not being observed. Scheduled times would be assigned to foster children to connect with their biological and foster family outdoors.

studioMLA landscape department proposed integrating therapeutic playground design elements such as: taking risks and building trust, forming relationships and working together, graded challenges, and curiosity. A recirculating waterfall would be the focal point of the playground with mixed rocks and boulders of various sizes. The surrounding playscape would have offered varied and diverse activity areas for families to engage within. Pergolas, an artist creating area, and a games table were some of these concepts.

Unfortunately, this project never entered construction. However, it stands as a model example of a rich and rejuvenating therapeutic garden.