One of the most exciting things about Tatum’s Garden is that it will be a truly unique, one-of-a-kind playground! We have teamed up with the incredible Leathers and Associates, who have designed and built over 3,000 playgrounds in the last 40+ years in the US and 7 other countries. They specialize in inclusive and accessible playgrounds, and we are so excited that they are bringing their expertise and creativity here to Salinas! They will work with our creative and architectural team and our own local schoolchildren to create a design that transforms what is now a forgotten, unsightly parking lot into a huge and beautiful playground, with brand-new accessible parking and landscaping! Tatum’s Garden will have an agricultural theme—a virtual vegetable garden in a playground—and reflect our Salinas Valley’s rich agricultural history.

Before we know it, DESIGN WEEK will be here! Our Design Team from Leathers and Associates will fly here, and spend May 9th and 10th visiting elementary school children right here in Salinas, who will share their ideas for what they want to see in their dream playground. We can’t wait to see what amazing things come from the imaginations of these kids…can you guess how they will imagine using fruits and vegetables in a playground?

Finally, the evening of May 10th will be our DESIGN UNVEILING CELEBRATION! We invite you to join us for this fun-filled and exciting public event, hosted at the Salinas Rodeo Grounds in the Rodeo Room, from 5:30-7pm. The evening will include refreshments and live music, and feature the official unveiling of the Tatum’s Garden Schematic Design! We hope you will join us in this first monumental event on our journey towards making Tatum’s Garden a reality! More details to follow…

James Houghton 

jamesHoughtonJim Houghton is an integral part of L&A’s creative design team. Prior to coming to Leathers, Jim operated his own design studio for close to three decades doing work which included magazine illustration, technical drawings, advertising & collateral design, cartoon strips and more. In fact, in 1986, Jim did an illustration of Bob Leathers for a regional profile. Jim’s responsibilities with our firm run the gamut from designer to special features consultant in the field. He enjoys creating artist renderings, details and innovative new playground component designs.

Jim notes: “When I was a kid, playgrounds looked nothing like they do today. Leathers & Associates literally invented much of the visual and structural iconography of the modern playground. It’s exciting to have the chance to participate in such a legendary organization, and to help develop the next generation of “essential” playgrounds. It’s also fun to be told, on a fairly regular basis, that I have the ‘coolest job in the world.’ How can you not love that?”
In his spare time Jim enjoys gardening, walking and birding with his wife.

Kyle Cundy 
Project Manager and Community Organizer

kyleCundyKyle joined L&A’s team in 1992. The first ten years she worked closely with our founder, Bob Leathers, as his executive assistant. During that time she was trained in project management, community organizing and assisted with design work. Today, she enjoys every aspect of the firm from organizing clients in preparation for design days to leading special features on community playground builds, and everything in-between. Empowered happy clients—both young and old—is what motivates Kyle to give her very best each day. She finds creative solutions in challenging situations and tackles each task with positive energy. In addition to her strong business skills, Kyle is a talented mosaic artist. A kid at heart, she continues to push the limits of play and given the opportunity is always the first to test new play components! Growing up and playing with a cousin that has cerebral palsy, she understands first-hand the importance and benefits of all inclusive playgrounds. Kyle served on the Community Built Association’s (CBA) Board of Directors for three terms and as conference coordinator for four. She enjoys, promotes and encourages collaborations with other CBA members.

When not at work, she can be found spending time with her family, running, taking her dog for walks on the beach, and creating art. Kyle is a certified Jazzercise fitness instructor and teaches five classes a week.

Learn more about our Design Team from Leathers here.