Play areas at neighborhood parks provide a place for kids to exercise safely outdoors, explore the natural world, develop their imagination, interact with others and discover their community, all while having some good old fashioned fun! But play areas that are poorly accessible, or filled with worn and outdated play equipment, can put a serious damper on all that activity.
This year, thanks to the voter-approved Seattle Park District, $2 million dollars is being invested into play area renovations at park sites across Seattle. As part of the Park District’s Fix It First Initiative, renovations include new play equipment and necessary safety and ADA-accessibility improvements. These renovations will help ensure that our play areas remain safe, welcoming and engaging for kids for years to come.
Construction is currently taking place at Lincoln Park, Webster Park and Gilman Playground play areas, with preliminary plans underway for Prentis Frazier, Georgetown, High Point, Dearborn, Discovery, Hiawatha, and South Park play areas.
Construction on the new play area at Webster Park in Ballard is in full swing! This project will install updated play equipment and improve access to the park, as well as add play structures and seating accessible to children of all ages and abilities. Demolition of the old play equipment is complete, concrete foundations have been formed for new rocks and rope-climbing equipment, and concrete curbs have been poured for the new sand pit and the new accessible entrance. At the beginning of construction, we heard many comments from the community about wanting to keep the old rainbow slide as it brought a sense of identity to the neighborhood. After hearing this, we decided to change the proposed slide from the original solid green color to ‘rainbow’ to honor this unique aspect of the park.
Gilman Playground in Ballard features ballfields, tennis courts, a play area and a wading pool. The play area renovation project will install updated play equipment based on feedback we heard from the community, which included an interest in climbable structures, swings, and modern and nature-themed equipment. The contractor has mobilized, and demolition of the old play equipment is complete; installation of the new equipment is scheduled to begin in October.
Lincoln Park is West Seattle’s major multi-purpose park. It features miles of trails, rocky beaches, grassy forests and meadows, picnic areas and more. The Lincoln Park North Play Area Renovation project will install updated play equipment, improve access and install new structures accessible to children of all ages and abilities. Construction is underway and a new seating area next to the wading pool is now open! This accessible table area features picnic tables and two barbecues. The bird plaza has been formed, and installation of the play equipment is underway. This is anticipated to be complete mid-October, after which construction will shift to finishing up concrete work, installing drainage, and installing engineered wood chips. We are thrilled to report that we are still on target to open at the end of October!