Categorized | NEWS

Residents design ‘dream playground’ at Longfellow Park

Posted on 24 July 2018 by calvin

Project delayed by unexpectedly long lead times for equipment, but installation anticipated for mid-August

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Installation of the new Longfellow playground has been delayed, but planners are confident it will be worth the wait.

Unexpectedly long lead times for procuring equipment have delayed the project at Longfellow, as well as at the Washburn Ave. Tot Lot this summer.

“The long lead times are the result of a number of factors that could include recent economic developments, as well as a huge influx of projects which is causing a backlog of orders for equipment with the playground vendors,” explained Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Design Project Manager Crystal Passi. “Overall, this is a pretty busy construction season.”

Photo right: Work at the site began in June when the old equipment was removed, the site graded, and a fence erected. The pool has remained open during the project. The current playground equipment at Longfellow Park was installed in the late 1980s and had reached the end of its lifespan, according to park board staff. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

Installation of the new playground equipment is now anticipated to begin in mid-August.

Work at the site began in June when the old equipment was removed, the site graded, and a fence erected. The pool has remained open during the project.

Over 200 help design playground
When complete, the playground will include the feedback from over 200 people who attended multiple open houses and events. Kids and their grown-ups were invited to share thoughts and opinions.

“Thanks to all the community who came out to meetings and events, and provided feedback and helped to design the playground at Longfellow,” stated Passi.

She appreciated the viewpoint that children brought to the discussion.

“Kids brought some of the best and most creative ideas to the table,” remarked Passi.

“I think kids were most excited by monkey bars and climbing structure options. I think they will really enjoy the climbing and spinning ‘Global Motion’ feature because many kids can play on it at once, and it’s accessible for people of all abilities.”

Passi also believes this Global Motion spinner by Landscape Structures will set this playground apart as there aren’t many in Minneapolis.

Adults pushed for the use of natural colors at the playground, and stressed the importance of providing options for both younger and older children, stated Passi.

Meeting in the middle
MPRB received many comments from residents who wanted the sand surfacing to go away because it gets stuck in shoes and is perceived as messy, explained Passi. At the same time, people wanted a sand play area for younger children because it is such a tactile play element.

Photo left: The upgraded playground at Longfellow will feature a Global Motion spinner, monkey bars, climbing options, little house, engineered wood fiber surface, small sand play area (not shown on rendering) and more. (Illustration courtesy of Minneapolis Parks and Recreation)

“I think we met in the middle by removing the sand as the main surfacing and switching to engineered wood fiber with a poured-in-place resilient surfacing for transfer points and connections to several features,” said Passi. “However, we also included a small separate sand play area that will sit directly adjacent to the playground. (Not shown in the renderings).”

The new playground will be a bit larger than before as MPRB created more space by removing a concrete pathway that used to divide it into two sections.

“This made it possible to fit more equipment into the site even with new fall zone standards that have changed since the original equipment went in,” remarked Passi.

The current playground equipment at Longfellow Park was installed in the last 1980s and had reached the end of its lifespan, according to park board staff. The components and wood structure were worn and began to fail due to age. Some items have been removed over the past few years as they were broken or had safety issues. Because of the age, the parts could not be replaced. Additionally, the equipment is also out of compliance to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ASTM guidelines.

Dream playground
At the community open houses, residents used wood puzzles with equipment pieces made to scale to design their “dream playground.” MPRB staff took pictures of all the creations, and used these ideas, along with hundreds of comments and dotmocracy boards, to design a playground that includes most, if not all, of the features that space and budget would accommodate. “I think people will be pleased with the design overall,” said Passi.

“I believe younger kids will really enjoy the little house for imaginative play,” she added. “I think older kids will find that the large climbing structure has tons of different activities, which is something kids were adamant about.”

 

 

Chanhassen Dinner Theater

St. Paul Ballet

Job Corps

Anderson Realty

Nilles-Filler-Combo-Online-ad-10292015