A Re-design and Replacement of the Playgrounds
The iconic playgrounds at Willow Park that have been a beloved feature for decades are now being entirely rebuilt with new accessible and inclusive play structures that the community has helped choose.
One thing that will not change… the engraved bricks honoring the donors who built the original park will be preserved.
Progress on Willow Park Playgrounds:
December, 2022 - Too late for this year, but looking really good for spring!
The rubberized base layer for the new playgrounds at Willow Park has been successfully installed. A final top coat will have to wait until warmer weather in the spring before it can be poured.
The new playgrounds hit a stumbling block this past September when problems were discovered with a number of construction issues, most notably with the curbing.
Those issues have all been addressed. New curbing is mostly in place, with a small section to be added in the spring. The other punch list items have also been taken care of.
The Town is committed to making sure that the playgrounds are built in full compliance with all required specifications and we are glad to see this project moving towards final completion.
The town's vendor responsible for building the playgrounds, Play By Design, will return first thing in the spring to finish the job.
We were all disappointed to not have the playgrounds ready this year. We are grateful for the patience and understanding of the community who has waiting so long for this deeply missed community resource.
The new playgrounds are replacing the original playgrounds that were built in 1999. The playgrounds are 100% funded by ARPA funds at a cost of $500,000. No additional cost to the Town was incurred by the delays and we are working with the vendor to get the job completed as soon as possible.
We greatly appreciate the patience and understanding of the community as we continue to make progress on the project. We can't wait for it to be done so our kids can start having fun on the new equipment!
About the New Playgrounds
The chosen design and color scheme are the result of a public outreach process. Over 1,500 people participated in the selection and many people also submitted comments, suggestions, and ideas during the public comment period. There was a public presentation of the various playground design options that was held at the MAUHS auditorium on April 13 which was recorded and viewed over 800 times.
The chosen design was fine tuned in response to the comments and suggestions received. The final design incorporates several features that include more musical/auditory components; harness swing systems; different slide options in the ages 5 to 12 large play structure; additional age-appropriate spring rockers in the upper playground; benches for seating; and changing a Volta spinner to an accessible spinner.
View the Public Presentation Video
View the Play By Design Educational Notes PDF (8 mb)
New Playground Design
The playground design “Canopy Discovery” was the overwhelming favorite, with 70% of the total responses. Ramps to fun had 17% and Heights of Adventure had 13% respectively.
About the Design
Design Two – Canopy Discovery (#234-3)
NOTE: The chosen design has been fine tuned in response to comments and suggestions the Town has received. The final design development is incorporating several features and/or elements that include more musical/auditory components, harness swing systems, different slide options in the 5-12 large play structure, additional age appropriate spring rockers in the upper playground, benches for seating, and changing the volta spinner to a non-transfer required accessible spinner.
This playground option tips its hat to the old playground structure with wooden style barriers and features. Both playgrounds include an integrated shade system to help with the heat during the summer months. The pour-in-place rubber surfacing meanders throughout the play space, going under slide exits, swings, and leading people to the accessible play components and transfer stations. The 5-12 area has an active and challenging obstacle course with numerous climbing features. The 2-5 area has developmental focused climbers to improve balance and walking abilities. Each play area also offers age-appropriate swing seats, both include inclusive swing seats and a konnection swing seat (multi-user swing seat). The dish swing provides an excellent opportunity for inclusive play, allowing all children to experience the swinging motion while sharing the dish seat with their friends. The inclusive spinner is centered in the middle of the play space, this merry-go-round allows a wheelchair user to transfer out of their chair and onto the spinner which provides ample back support. Lastly, the shared space has a rocker and a cup style spinner which providing the vestibular motion that all kids love to enjoy. The upper playground is a quaint play space, with swings for both age groups. The playground features 2 slides, 2 climbers, and shade.
Freedom Swing Seat (2) (inclusive swing seat with high back support)
Volito Swing Seat (dish swing seat accessible by transfer)
Konnect Swing Seat (multi-generational swing seat – 2 seater)
Inclusive Spinner (non-transfer)
Sensory Play 5-12 Structure:
CLUBHOUSE FULL BOARD PANEL
CAR ACCESSIBLE REACH PANEL
DRUM ACCESSIBLE REACH PANEL
Sensory Play 2-5 Structures:
(2) MAZE ACCESSIBLE REACH PANEL
BUG PANEL, ACCESSIBLE REACH
3-IN-A-ROW PANEL, 2-5 ABOVE PLATFORM
CHIMES PANEL, 2-5 ABOVE PLATFORM
ABC PANEL 2-SIDED 2-5, ABOVE PLATFORM
POST MOUNTED BELL
Orchid Color Scheme
For color schemes, the tally was much closer. “Orchid” was the leader with 34.2%, followed by “Forest” with 27.3%, “Bayside” with 22.3%, and “Enchanted” with 16.2%.
Timeline for Completion
The planned completion of the playgrounds was originally late summer of 2022. New date for opening is the spring of 2023.