Groveport parks get playground upgrades

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

A couple of Groveport city parks are getting playground improvements.

Old playground equipment was recently replaced with a new set of equipment at Blacklick Park, located at the east end of Blacklick Street, at a cost of $45,456,

“That number includes the cost of the structure as well as the concrete, the border, and the mulch,” said Groveport Parks and Facilities Superintendent Eric Reed. “This project was also funded through the Parks Department 2023 capital fund. The style that was chosen was a 5-12 age group structure, and the cost of the structure fit within our available budget.”

Next up is a new replacement set of playground equipment in Degenhart Park, located at the south end of Lesleh Avenue.

Originally, a concept for a park play/exercise feature that would be multi-generational was proposed for Degenhart Park, meaning it would be equipment with accessible play features for younger kids with limited mobility, as well as exercise and activity features for older adults.

“As far as the multi-generational park – that idea was pitched by the Kiwanis Club,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King. “They planned to raise funds for it and have a joint venture with the city. Unfortunately, with the folding of the Kiwanis Club, that multi-generational project is not moving forward.”

Added Christine Boucher of the now defunct Groveport Madison Kiwanis Club, “Unfortunately, Groveport Madison Kiwanis disbanded in 2022. Out of the 10 members who started the group, there were really only two of us left and we could not maintain or grow the group moving forward.”

So, instead of the multi-generational equipment, Reed said Degenhart Park will receive a new playground structure designed for the 5-12 age group.

“The industry designs their products for a 2-5 age group and a 5-12 age group,” said Reed. “We chose a 5-12 age group play structure because that will appeal to the larger age group. The estimated cost is approximately $43,700, which includes the structure, the border, concrete, and mulch. The structure will be installed in Degenhart Park this winter, weather permitting. The project was funded through the Parks Department 2023 capital fund.”

Reed said the Degenhart Park play structure will have subtle differences from the structure at Blacklick Park.

“The structure at Degenhart Park will feature a variety of vertical and overhead climbing events in addition to the traditional slides,” said Reed.

Reed said the recently removed Degenhart Park playground equipment structure was installed in 1997.

“While there is no industry recommended replacement schedule, the city has decided to establish its own replacement schedule based on the age and condition of the existing structures,” said Reed. “The new structure at Blacklick Park replaced a structure that was installed in 1996.”

There is an older set of “monkey bar” style exercise bars still in place at the west end of Degenhart Park and Reed said there are no current plans to remove that structure.

“There has been discussion of adding individual features going forward to supplement the enjoyment of the playground area,” said Reed. “These features might be in the form of climbing apparatus, unique swings, etc.”

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