Parents, kids get input into new Park District equipment
By Denise Linke For The Sun December 13, 2012 11:12PM
Shannon Godsil asks Naperville Park District director of planning Eric Shutes about the various options available for the new Ashwood Park playground during an open house for residents to decide on equipment on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Parents — and their kids — got a chance this week to help choose playground equipment that will go into six parks across Naperville.
The Naperville Park District held open houses to let residents pick new playground equipment for Country Commons, Huntington Commons, Olesen Farm, Ashwood, River Run and Crestview Knoll parks. The equipment will be installed at all six parks in the spring and summer of 2013.
Residents had the chance to look at between five and eight options for playground equipment proposed by vendors. After studying site plans, drawings and photos of the different packages, residents could write their votes on a sign-in sheet for their neighborhood park.
“We let the residents pick which concepts they like the best. The options that get the greatest number of votes are the ones that we buy,” said Naperville Park District Planning Director Eric Shutes.
For instance, “Option 7” won in a landslide for Ashwood Park. It includes a toddler play island with a double slide, a block image panel and a climber, as well as an island with climbing and spinning features for older children and a swing set with two standard seats and two baby seats.
“Option 7 has some pretty unique dynamics,” said resident Nikki Hussey, who plans to visit the park with her 9-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. “I’ve never seen a gyro twister before, and I know my kids will love the ‘swiggle stix.’”
Leslie Stomper agreed with other voters that Option 6 was the best choice for Crestview Knolls Park.
“I like that it has stuff for different age groups. We have to push aside the teenagers who congregate at the top of the slide so that we can slide down,” she noted. “It has lots of different things to climb and lots of shade. Also, people can keep an eye on all the kids at once.”
The package includes a toddler island with two separate slides, a play island for older children and a swing set with two standard seats and two baby seats.
Shutes said it is important to get residents involved in the process of choosing new equipment.
“The best playground designs are based on community input,” Shutes said.