Fort Wayne Parks playground improvements will bring added fun to four parks — including for adults
Four Fort Wayne parks will be even more fun to play in next year.
The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department’s board of park commissioners approved four playground improvement projects – including one for adults – during their meeting Thursday at Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory.
All of the projects are scheduled for completion by May 15, 2018, said David Grim, a parks department project coordinator.
Here are the details:
Spring Street and Cherokee Road
The park will get all-new equipment for the playground designed for children ages 2-5.
Playhouses incorporated into the equipment mimic the architectural design of homes around the park. The playground also will receive new swings and drums and chimes musical equipment designed by musicians for use on playgrounds, Grim said.
Some of same types of musical playground equipment also will be installed in the future Promenade Park on Fort Wayne’s downtown riverfront.
Because neighborhood residents have expressed strong attachment for the merry-go-round piece at the playground – the last, old-style one of its kind left in the parks department’s 87 parks – parks officials specifically included a new merry-go-round that is designed to keep rotation speeds at safe levels and also includes bucket seats that can be used by children with physical disabilities, Grim said.
Carew Street and Hazelwood Avenue
The park will get a playground designed for ages 6-12 to complement its existing playground for ages 2-5.
The visual highlight will be the Performer Dome climber, which features multiple levels of durable and vandal-resistant cable netting strung from curved support poles that meet in the middle to form a dome, Grim said.
Kids also can try to stand on top of the circular Super Nova spinner, which creates the sensation of being on a balance beam and spinner at the same time, he said.
Work also includes installing seven new swings and a large and safer slide to replace the old, existing slide, he said.
CAMP ALLEN PARK
Camp Allen Drive and Center Street
Cost: About $15,000
A new climber will be installed to replace the old, existing climber, Grim said. The new piece has netting down one side and fidget spinner-shaped levels on the other side, but the latter don’t spin, he said.
North River Road, east of Maysville Road
The adult fitness playground, which will be a first for a Fort Wayne city park, will include about 24 pieces of fitness equipment installed on an artificial turf surface near the park’s soccer fields.
Parks staff envision parents using the equipment when not watching their child play in a soccer game, Grim said. The park’s walking loop also will pass right by the fitness playground, so people can stop to work out while walking.
The equipment will be set up in pairs, so people can exercise and chat while side by side using the same type of fitness equipment, Grim said. A number of the fitness machines are accessible for use by people using wheelchairs or with disabilities.
The equipment includes a chest press, leg press, cross-country skiing machine, air walker (resembles an elliptical trainer), stepper and cross-fitness rig, he said.
All of the equipment is designed to withstand outdoor weather and heavy use, he said. The equipment also will be installed to meet playground safety standards for young children, in case any youngsters get on the equipment and fall off, Grim said.
If the playground attracts the fitness fans the parks department hopes it does, department officials will consider adding a parkour obstacle course at the site. Users of the parkour course could develop their fitness and skills using some “Ninja Warrior”-type pieces of equipment, Grim said.
The park board also approved spending $211,335 to replace the aged and deteriorating surface material under playground equipment at Buckner Park, 6114 Bass Road.
The new surface will be an “engineered turf system” that resembles real grass and will provide a soft cushion for children, said Steve Schuhmacher, parks department superintendent of ground and improvements.