Thursday, July 14, 2011

Colorful new playspace: Clemente Rec. Center

Playground: Clemente
Location: 18th between Wallace & Mt. Vernon (entrances on three sides)
Date visited: 7/9/11

Equipment: Two playsets, in the same general area:
  1. Lower (marked for ages 2-5) has platforms around 4 feet high, misc. climbing (including one unusual rounded-step stair/ladder that would be good for newer climbers), a jointed bridge, two straight metal slides, and a gear toy underneath
  2. Higher (marked ages 5-12) has 4-6-foot platforms, misc. climbing, a narrow solid bridge/beam, short and tall straight (metal) slides and a tall (metal) spiral, and a large section of rope net/web-style jungle gym. There's also some tyke gear (bench, bus wheel, tunnel) underneath.
There are also swings in the play zone (4 bucket + 4 strap). A separate area nearby is a full sprayground, with a colorful palm tree-style central element and numerous spray heads embedded in the pavement around a wide cement oval (that will work in a patterned dance); there's a pole sensor for activation by hand waving, etc. [This was not active at time of visit due to some valves that needed fixing. Will have specific hours shorter than overall playground hours; see below.]
material: modern metal/rope, scale: med. space
Ages: 1-11
Surface: large rubberized zone and blacktop beyond
Shade(0-3): 0 (maybe some in mornings)
Water: Y
Other: basketball court, square picnic tables, muraled rec. center, adjacent baseball field, colorful plantings and some grassy areas
Access: still being decided: at least 9am-9pm for the playground (maybe as early as 8am, depending on volunteer logistics); water will be 11-7

Impressions: Colorful and well-designed mix of offerings in a newly renovated (July 5 opening!) playground. Oldest kids might find the climbing web a challenge, but no monkey bars or zip lines to add more. Tots and elementary ages should have plenty to do. Worth a special trip, and appears to have a staff of dedicated volunteers who will keep it presentable for some time.
Also note: there's a coffee shop/creperie a block east on Wallace, if anybody needs refueling...
Overall rating: 9

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