Senior CAD/Playground Designer
When she’s not writing short stories, playing with her dogs, or perfecting her Mahjong game, Dana Grubbs is designing our playgrounds. For the past 15 years, Dana has made inclusive design her playground passion, complemented by her strong creativity and technical skill.
As a CAD designer, Dana designs playgrounds for Pelican customers based on multiple factors, including needs and requests, location, and funding. “I love creating the 3D renderings for the projects,” she says. “Getting to be creative, and the challenges that come with fitting the best playground with the customer, are my favorite parts of my job.” In addition to her creative chops, Dana also has to balance area restrictions, budgetary constraints, and guideline restrictions—and still develop fun, safe, inviting environments for kids. It’s a challenge that she’s up for every day.
Part of her role is also to create quote packages for proposed designs that include 3D renderings of the playgrounds and two-dimensional top views alongside pricing information and technical specs. Matching and blending colors, as well as creating the best playground views to achieve the perfect effect for each presentation, is one of the things she most enjoys at Pelican.
Dana’s favorite piece of playground equipment is the Cozy Cocoon. “I love it!” she says, acknowledging that even she finds it soothing. “I have learning disabilities myself, and I get overwhelmed very quickly—this piece is great for people like me.” On-site at a stressful community build, Dana found herself escaping to the Cozy Cocoon to relax and recharge. “I sat inside it and watched the build go on around me while I calmed down and balanced out,” she says, adding that the cocoon allows you to “still be a part of everything going on, but in a safe place to regain yourself and your confidence.”
Dana holds a Bachelor’s degree in secondary education and an Associate degree in psychology. She’s also a Certified Playground Safety Inspector through the National Parks and Recreation Association, a certification she’s held since 2006. Dana is a published author, a Reiki master, a life coach, and a hypnotherapist. A current parent to two “fur kids,” Charlie and Ginger, she’s always wanted a pet raccoon to add to the mix.