Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Snaking through the neighborhood: West Mill Creek playground

Playground: West Mill Creek rec. center
Location: at 51st on Parrish (which dead-ends into it from east and west)
Date visited: 7/24/11

Equipment: Several pieces:
  • Low playset with various climbing (including a ladder of steps), jointed bridge, double metal slide

  • High playset with miscellaneous climbing, including two submarine-style central ladders, a jointed bridge, spiral metal slide, curve of monkey bar rings, two low and one medium metal slides, and a balance platform (also something missing -- a bridge? -- leaving one low platform stranded/pointless nearby)

  • Smallest playset has solid bridge and curved plastic slide (along with climbing)

  • Tons of swings (6 strap and 6 bucket), several broken, most wrapped around pole
All modern equipment, relatively compact, although there is a water zone SE of the main playground (circular cement area with sprayer pole) and other rec. zones N and S
Ages: 1-9?
Surface: rubbery around equip; blacktop elsewhere
Shade(0-3): 0
Water: Y (beyond main playground)
Other: little rec. building, square picnic tables, ball field, basketball
Access: 9am-10:30p (2-10:30 winter)

Impressions: Charming nook playground and recreation space winds its way in a gap between dead-end/turnaround streets. Lots of offerings, some creative, but appears poorly looked after -- no graffitti or trash, but tangled swings and understaffed rec. center (a local asked me how to get somebody to turn the water feature on during the heat wave!) makes this less useful for neighbors than it otherwise would be. Still, it speaks well for the creativity of the Parks Department to find such narrow holes in residential zones to turn into fun outlets for kids.
Overall rating: 7

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