Barker’s Alps Park in Bayport will get new playground equipment later this year.
Expected to be installed by sometime in September, the new equipment will include a multi-tiered platform system with slides, monkey bars, a standing twist swing, sliding poles, a carousel, a see-saw and more.
The footprint of the park will remain similar, with a small expansion on one side, but the ground around the equipment will be covered with special wood chips, rather than the existing sand.
The swings will be replaced, but the swing set structure will remain.
The equipment targets children ages 5-12. Although city staff members researched adding equipment geared toward younger children, they found such equipment is often under-used at other parks.
“It’s a nice concept, but the kids, when they get to be 2 [or] 3 and actually start climbing and playing on the equipment, they want to be on the big-kid equipment,” City Administrator Adam Bell said. “So we decided not to invest any money in the toddler … range.”
The city council unanimously approved installation of the equipment at a cost of about $55,000 July 10. Funds will come from park dedication fees and the recreational capital equipment fund — both funds dedicated to this type of project.
St. Croix Recreation Company will do the work.
According to Bell, the Barker’s Alps improvements were one of the parks-related priorities set by the city council and staff during a work session in April.
“Barker’s Alps had very old equipment,” Bell said. “For a relatively low cost, when it comes to playground equipment, you can get quite a bit of improvement.”
“I think this looks like a nice improvement,” Mayor Susan St. Ores said. “We’ve heard from a lot of families that go to ballgames that it would be nice to have something that the small children could go play on.”
Another priority identified by the council in April was adding a picnic shelter at Perro Park in downtown Bayport. The cost of the proposal, however, came in higher than expected, with the most basic shelter coming in at nearly $20,000, rather than the expected $15,000. The council agreed not to pursue the picnic shelter at this time, but it would like to make improvements to Perro Park in the future, perhaps in conjunction with warming house upgrades.
Contact Jonathan Young at [email protected]