Climbing Area, Multi-Age Fun Planned For New Playground At Rumsey Park

TOWN OF PAYSON NEWSLETTER

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By the end of the summer, Rumsey Park will have new playground equipment.

The Payson Town Council recently approved Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and staff's recommendation to purchase and install new playground equipment in Rumsey Park. The new playground, a $150,000 project, has three distinct areas broken down to serve three different age groups.

Traditional play equipment is designed for ages 2 to 12 and includes decks, bridges, climbers, swings and a slide. There is also a brand-new school-aged play area that will be known as "The Rock Pile." The new play area uses concrete casts of boulders designed to bring adventure and dynamic movement to the kids' playground experience. These are highly textured, large-scale venues of fun. This area also includes the swing sets.

The final phase (proposed for 2008) is a new experience for pre-teens to young adults known as Rocks ‘N' Ropes. It includes a challenging section for teens and young adults. The teen area encourages activity, flexibility, and socialization in a taller version of the youth climbing area. The man-made rocks are connected with ropes that are used by kids to transition from one piece of equipment to another. The new rock-themed play area blends nicely with the "Payson Flavor" of rocks and trees.

The complete installation requires a phasing plan that includes seating for parents, a stroller friendly walking path, picnic area, swing sets and border system used to retain the loose fall zone material.

Unfortunately, there is also bad news. Towns and cities across the country are removing play rockets from their playgrounds. Neenah, Wisc. is replacing its rocket with new play equipment, much like we are doing in Payson. The replacement is in the name of limiting the town's risk and liability, by keeping up with industry standards for safety.

Also being removed are the spring rides and "hamburger" merry-go-round that were given to the city from McDonald's several years ago. The new additions meet current safety standards established by the National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) and the National Park and Recreation Association (NRPA). For now, parents playing softball on Rumsey I will be able to let their kids play near the skate park.

This project is budgeted in the 2006/2007 budget cycle and is funded through parks impact fees. If you would like to comment on these parks and recreation issues (or others) e-mail rmanchester@ci.payson.az.us.

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