We live across the street from a city park. As kids become more and more plugged into electronics and involved in organized sports and scheduled into 'play dates', community parks are being utilized less and less.
Last year our city announced that many of the seldom used parks would have their equipment removed and they'd become empty lots. Most of the parks that were still viable would have their equipment replaced. Ours was included in the "viable" group. I'm sure this was due in part to the heavy use it got from the successful Daycare/Preschool that was in a house next door. The daycare has since sold the house and taken over the entire Child Development Centre.
Demolition of the park started a few weeks ago and my 9 and 6 year old grandkidlets and I were quite excited about what the "New Park" would look like.
For all of Maeve's six years she has referred to "Sanderson Park" as "Xanderson Park" because with a brother named Xander, that was only natural sounding to her wee ears and vocal ability.
When demolition began she demonstrated her unique little sense of humour and wit and said to me, "Granny, I hope when they redo the park they name it "Maeverson Park'." I'm a bit biased, but she is a witty little girl. And the park will forevermore be known as Maeverson Park around here.
Well, today around noon in a cloud of heavy smoke from all the neighbouring forest fires, Maeverson Park opened its gates to the public. While Xander and Maeve weren't here at the time, we happen to have Beatrice and Daphne, ages 4 and 14 months, here for the week.
Off to the park we toddled. And toddled is the right word to use here.
I've never actually heard the term "Toddler Park' before. But apparently it's a thing.
What in the actual funk??!!?
Who the heck makes decisions like this? Let's rip out this lovely well used park that has a swinging bridge made of tires, a zip line, swings, twirly tunnel slide and other fun and entertaining items and replace them with a toddler park. A TODDLER PARK??/!!! WTF! Why?
I feel conflicted about bitching here, because I'm truly grateful that the city is investing money in upgrading its parks, but...
I'm trying not to entertain the idea that the decision was based on the fact that there was a daycare next door because, well, it was a private daycare and if the city created a tax-funded park for a private daycare.. well... don't get me started...
Now, on a positive note, it's cute little get-up and it is lime green and bright blue which nicely matches my newly renovated kitchen/living space colour scheme.
The park itself is a good size. The equipment is wee. It would look great in someone's backyard or even a large rec room. But for a city park it qualifies as ridiculous.
It even posted a sign saying it was intended for 2 to 5 year-olds. But a lot of the stuff was too small for our 4-year-old. She looked ridiculous on the tube slide where her head was poking out the top and her feet could be seen at the bottom of the slide. Seriously. The slide is no more than 24 inches long. It's cute. But it's ridiculous.
Even the swings hang on an 8-foot frame. There's one baby swing seat and one regular swing. The regular swing is really high off the ground. This makes it convenient for a parent to push a wee one they've lifted onto the swing, but impossible for a child to get themselves onto without adult assistance. And with the short height of the swing frame and the high height of the swing seat, it makes for a very short chain and thus a less-than-exciting ride for anyone over the age of 5. Understandable, I guess, for a "toddler park." But sorely disappointing for the hundreds of kids over the age of 5 who used to frequent this park, for which the swing is THE ONLY piece of equipment they actually physically fit on in this 'new park'.
The park is certainly big enough that some sort apparatus could have been added so that all children could be included, and the park might become a destination for families with kids of all ages. But as it is, it's a lovely space for the very young, but even our 4-year-old was too large for most of the equipment.
Overall, a big 2-thumbs-down from this Granny to the city of Prince George for the super cute but super useless new park.
|They are pretty straight up honest about who the park is intended for. I just wish they had posted these intentions 2 years ago so the users of the park actually had some input into the production.|
|Super cute little 14-month-old enjoys the equipment that her 4-year-old sister is too big for.|
|It's a great funky little bench for parents... IF parents of the children of appropriate size were actually able to sit on a bench while their wee ones played on the equipment|
|It is bloody cute and stylish, even if useless, to most families who used to frequent the park.|
|Fabulous for the 14-month old|
|The 4-year-old had to tuck herself to go down the 24-inch slide.|
|I didn't get a great photo of the 4-year-old with her head poking out the top of the slide and her feet hanging out the bottom. If it wasn't so sad it would be comical.|
|Once again, it was lovely for the baby.|
|Not so lovely for the 4-year-old. I can't imagine the disappointment my 9 and 6-year-olds will experience when they get to realize their excitement for the "New and Improved" Maeverson Park.|