Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Fresh Look for Remington’s Largest Playground

By Rose Reis

You know the playground at the end of Miles and 30th street, behind the Greater Faith Baptist Church? The play space that backs up to Wyman Park, with its lofty trees and meandering Stony Run creek below? If you have children, they probably race around the playground, climb the stairs, careen down the red slides. If you have a dog, you probably come to the adjacent green some mornings and evenings to play fetch. If you have kids attending the GreenMount School, they likely spend hours here every week, playing tag, swinging, and jostling to get on the monkey bars.

The playground was built in 2005 and is one of the most heavily used playgrounds on Department of Recreation & Parks property, according to department records. Although the existing structures are sound (albeit graffitied), the variety of equipment is limited, and its current appearance is less than inspiring.

A group of neighbors wondered if it had to be so. They contacted the city and found out that Recreation & Parks had already budgeted to replace the rubber surface, the most expensive portion of a playground renovation. We applied for additional funding from several local foundations and have been working with Seawall Development to fundraise in the local business community (R.W. Fewster Painting Co. on Fox Street is among those who have pledged their support).

Using feedback from more than 60 neighbors who took a survey, a survey of schoolchildren using the space, input from other users, and feedback at a community forum, we developed several key objectives for the renovation:

  • Provide additional play space that is safe and attractive for children 2–5, which represents the needs of the majority of local residents, according to a late-2015 neighborhood survey.
  • Strengthen a neighborhood meeting place for a wide range of residents including older children and teenagers, dog walkers, and other park users.
  • Provide diverse passive and active recreational opportunities to teenagers and adults by installing new features such as a ping pong or other game table, picnic tables, benches, and play equipment.
  • Enliven playground by installing a ground mural designed by local artists
  • Redevelop green space immediately surrounding park to reinforce the recreational opportunities, including new fencing and dynamic landscape design with natural and donated natural elements incorporated such as small hills, boulders, and logs.

We hope to bring you good news in the coming months as our fundraising campaign continues! Please contact Rose Weeks (rose.reis@gmail.com) if you would like to make a suggestion or get involved in planning for the playground renovations.