Local Youth Design Climbing Boulders

Two climbing boulders designed by youth from CHRIS 180 and the Arthur M. Blank Family YMCA Center were delivered to the Cook Park site on Oct. 18. Funding for the installation came from The North Face as part of a collaborative effort with The Trust for Public Land to bring free public climbing boulders to neighborhoods in Atlanta, Denver, Chicago and New York.

The fabrication of the boulders was the culmination of three separate design sessions with neighborhood youth and volunteer climbers who spoke about the importance of climbing in their lives.

The final session was a workshop in January where climbing volunteers and two North Face professional climbers joined two dozen youth at the YMCA’s climbing wall to climb, have lunch and develop their own designs through drawing and modeling clay.

Rubberized resilient surfacing will be installed below the fabricated climbing sculptures in the coming weeks. The boulder fabricator who shaped the structures matched the unique sandstone rock texture of local climbing hotspot, Horse Pens 40.

Cook Park is designed to seamlessly integrate functional engineering features within a programmed park space while providing park amenities to visitors of all ages and abilities with ways to gather, connect and enjoy nature, including: a playground, splash pad, aeration fountain and great lawn, along with a market plaza, multipurpose courts and an amphitheater stage.