Playground removed from John North Park

 

Many of us on the north side of town, especially parents of small children, were dismayed to find our only nearby park play set suitable for little children removed. The sign in the right photo (click photos to enlarge) indicates the removal was due to safety reasons, which we certainly want to respect, but the clincher is we have to wait until 2007 for a new set.  As a resident of this part of town, I always felt that compared to other areas of town, our corner of northfield offers little in terms of open, public spaces suitable for children.

A petitition has been circulated to raise awareness in hopes our Parks & Rec Dept might act more quickly to replace the play structure. Here are some of the concerns raised:

  • the North and Northwest section of Northfield has no other choice for a park within walking distance, while on the South part of town some neighborhoods have 2 or 3 parks to choose from
  • playgrounds at parks promote activity and exercise for children, especially those living in abundant townhomes in the north part of the city where there is often no room for families to have their own playsets
  • Greenvale Elementary park is not accessible during school hours and is not appropriate for preschool children - swings are set high, climbing structure has several high/open areas, other apparatus is developmentally too difficult.
  • Grant Park, which is currently scheduled to have its equipment replaced in the summer of 2006, is located approximately two blocks from Jefferson Park, which is a quality playground
  • Grant Park was left a swing set, whereas no swings were left in John North Park

[Editor's Note: Attach comments to this blog post and/or join the ISSUES list for a discussion of the issue.]


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What?  OUTRAGE! 

What?  OUTRAGE! 

The Children...

The City needs to realize that the children are our most important asset.

Just because they cannot yet vote, does not mean they do not have a voice.

I can understand the safety concerns, but this should have been done with "malice of forethought", planned, and implemented with an immediate replacement.

Where can we gain access to the petition? Can N.org set up an "online petition", and then have the results forwarded on? I would like to sign the paper copy, if I can get access to it.

This is not a "major" expenditure like the pool. This is not 3 million dollars worth of playground equipment. This should have been budgeted and planned. It should not take 12 to 18 months to get new equipment installed.

Anyone from Parks & Rec want to hold a town meeting and explain this to all of the 3 to 12 year olds of this area? Losing a playground is traumatic and difficult to explain to a young child. To a young child, a year is a VERY long time.

Lets get something done here! John North park should be one of Northfield's "signature" parks, after all, it is named after Northfield's founder.

Would Parks & Rec please share with us their plans? How many more playgrounds are going to get removed this year?