Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shady but trash-strewn: Cruz Rec Center park

Playground: Cruz Rec. Center
Location: whole city block between 5th-6th, Jefferson-Master (couple blocks north of Girard) -- one playground each in NW and SE corners
Date visited: 6/20/10 (Sunday morning)

Equipment: There are two playgrounds here, separated by a ball field:
  1. Little kid zone is in SE corner (enter at 5th & Master). The main playset has a good mix of steps and climbing equipment, as well as 3 slides (2 metal, straight, 1 plastic, curved) and an arched bridge --- better than average for equipment aimed at littler kids. There is also one old-school freestanding metal slide (maybe 5 feet tall, so ok for toddlers) and a "space capsule" that allows small kids to climb an interior ladder into a curved metal basin that a toddler can stand up in (all about 2 feet off the ground). Four bucket swings and a heap of parent benches complete this zone.
  2. Older kid zone is in the NW corner (gate on Jefferson). There's an old-fashioned metal jungle gym (metal triangles forming a half-sphere), that requires pretty long legs to get onto. Also a more modern playset with lots of things to climb, a fireman's pole, and a single slide (metal, pretty steep). This set was a little beyond the grasp of our 28-month-old, but it might not offer much variety/challenge to actual Big Kids. (The wealth of open space in this park might or might not compensate.) Four strap swings here too.
material: weathered metal/resin (except as noted above), with some graffitti; scale: two medium spaces in a large multipurpose outdoor area
Ages: 1-3, 5-10, respectively?
Surface: rubbery around equipment, blacktop elsewhere
Shade(0-3): 2 (great on toddler playset)
Water: N
Other: large basketball court area, baseball field, extra grassy areas; rec. center has a fenced pool
Access: open (=dawn to dusk?)

Impressions: This large park has a nice range of offerings and runaround spaces, and an unusually good set of mature trees made it feel like a respite on a hot day -- probably a great local resource. However, the park had serious trash issues (not so much glass shards as lots of soda bottles and other containers) and a handful of Old Guys hanging around even on a hot Sunday morning, so it needs a little attention to bring it up to the realm of destination. Still, better than average for a summer day with the toddler set. No idea whether it sees any extra traffic when the school across the street is in session.
Overall rating: 7 (toddler area, 8; older kids, 6)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hope to be posting here soon!

You'd think that if we were visiting playgrounds in December, we'd be well underway in June, but our daughter has gotten a little shy about Big Kids, and we've gotten a little crushed by spring obligations. Have identified our next targets, so hopefully some updates in the next couple of weeks!