Brooklyn Carson, 3, and her Papa Jack were the first two to play in the newly renovated Jaycee Park at the corner of Wicke Avenue and Cora Street on Friday, October 4. Within the first half hour, two more families from the neighborhood had walked over to enjoy the playground’s amenities. The neighborhood park has a new Continuous Play Playground with five slides; a variety of pieces designed for climbing, including a Sky Rail, a Fish Net, a Clatter Bridge, and an Orbiter Spinner; a new swing set with four swings: two belt, a bucket, and an ADA accessible swing all set on a wood fiber surface that is clean, cushioned, and absorbs impact. The showpiece in the park is The Pointe, a large man-made rock formation that is accessible by climbing up a netted ladder. “This is the first of its kind installed in the District,” said Paul Cathey, Superintendent of Parks and Planning, “it is designed to encourage kids to test their strength, balance, and hand-eye coordination”.
Renovations began on August 6 with the removal of the playground by the Rockford-based volunteer organization, Kids Around the World. “The project was completed on time,” said Cathey, “and we are very glad, because we did not want to inconvenience the neighborhood children and their families. They now have a new playground which should last another generation.” In addition to the new playground, the park sports a new path that connects the bordering sidewalks, the picnic tables, and the basketball half court. The park also contains three new benches and a small sand play area.
"Jaycee Park has a half acre footprint. We wanted a compact play structure that had enough features to provide neighborhood children with an exhilarating aerobic workout, as well as encourage a creative, social experience. The variety included in this playground will allow children to meet new fitness challenges as they grow up. It’s just a great playground!”
Construction continues on the neighboring Kiwanis Park at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Orchard Street. Kiwanis will also have a Continuous Play Playground in the brown and green earth- tone color scheme. “Kiwanis will have two tree house structures that anchor the new play equipment connected by horizontal ladder, pod climbers, and a catwalk climber. It will have swings, slides, and a smaller rock formation for climbing. We wanted the parks to be different enough to keep children interested, and yet, have the same color scheme to compliment the neighborhood,” said Cathey.
For information about fall classes, programs, and events at the Park District, and to see all the amenities at your neighborhood park, visit www.DPParks.org or call 847-391-5700.