We are very concerned about the plans to tear down the Jacobson Park playground and install a modern play set, such as the one at Masterson Station. Many families travel out of their way to visit the Jacobson playground because of its uniqueness. The money has been allocated, but the bulldozers have not started! Please sign this petition and let LFUCG know we want this playground saved!
Unlike the modern play set which presents itself in its entirety as soon as you arrive; Jacobson provides the user the many, many paths and locations to explore. Children of all ages love exploring all the nooks/platforms/rooms of the playground. Children have an opportunity to learn spatial relations by repeatedly and extensively climbing throughout the structure. By comparison, Masterson presents the user with a single path from the lowest structure to the highest.
Multiple Uses All At Once:
These multiple paths and nooks/platforms/rooms also allow for a variety of uses/users at the same time. A tea party can happen in a nook and play can happen around it. By comparison 3-4 kids on one of the platforms at Masterson basically grid locks the entire play path. One can imagine the spaces at Jaconson to be most anything: houses, stores, forts, space stations, good-guy/bad-guy tag-team bases, etc. can be set up.
Multiple Age Ranges:
Jacobson is also unique in the fact that all age ranges can use the same space. Even an adult can accompany a toddler throughout the structure. The structure has limited locations with large drop-offs.
Modern play sets often have a platform with multiple drop-offs (to ladders, poles, etc.) on opposite sides making it difficult for a single adult to guard a child who can't climb yet but is more than capable of using stairs and a slide.
The replacement of Jacobson with a modern play set such as at Masterson will require the spending of well over $100,000 to out-of-state interests. The repair of the existing wooden structures would be money largely keep in our local economy, and certainly could be spent entirely in the surrounding region. A new play set will still require occasional repairs. Those repairs would again send most of the money out of our community since they will mainly consist of replacing parts manufactured elsewhere.
Jacobson is one of the extremely rare parks in town where you can actually play in the immediate shade of trees. Add in the fact that the wood structure also does not hold in the heat like plastic and metal do and you have an area that is usable all day, even at the hottest times of the year. It takes decades to grow this type of shade and their benefits should not be underestimated. With a complete overhaul of the area I am skeptical that the trees will be saved. Plastic shade structures and tarps do not provide acceptable shading.
Lexington needs a good variety of play spaces that create a sense of space that is uniquely Lexington. Jacobson's extensive size and increasingly unique form already make the park a popular destination. Transforming it by replacing it with the same type of play sets that are increasingly found everywhere else will not aid in its popularity as a destination park. Perhaps the Woodland Park playground is a better alterative to installing a new destination park.
I am very concerned about the plans to tear down the Jacobson Park playground. I believe this money would be better spent for the preservation and improvement of the existing playground structure.