Save The Shillito & Jacobson Park Playgrounds!
This petition had 3,804 supporters
We are very concerned about the plans to tear down the Jacobson Park and Shillito Park Creative Playgrounds 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; the Creative Playgrounds 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 Jacobson 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 and Shillito are 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 City has allocated ~$500,000.00 for Jacobson Playground. While that may sound like a lot of money, it doesn’t go very far in purchasing conventional playground equipment. The iconic core structures, that are so loved, could have been restored with plastic lumber for less than 1/3 of the city’s budget. $95,000 would replace all touchable surfaces of the core structure. The $400,000 balance could then have been used to make Jacobson even better.
Why settle for conventional when we can have exceptional?
Let's make Shillito exceptional!
Jacobson and Shillito are two 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. The Creative Playgrounds' 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 alternative to installing a new destination park.
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