By Kevin Collison
West Terrace Park is getting a new $260,000 playground that will include the first “Bamboo Jungle” climbing posts installed in the city by KC Parks.
Work is expected to begin this week on the new playground that serves not just the Quality Hill downtown neighborhood, but kids on recess at the nearby Crossroads Academy elementary campus at 1080 Washington.
Weather permitting, it should be completed by October.
“We’ve been working with Friends of West Terrace Park group to develop a master plan,” said Jimmi Lossing, a senior landscape architect with the city parks department. “Part of that determined the need for a new playground.”
The new playground replaces an older one at the park on the west edge of downtown overlooking the West Bottoms. West Terrace Park is adjacent to Case Park.
Maggie Goss of the Friends of West Terrace Park said her group and others, including the Downtown Neighborhood Association, have been pursuing a new playground for three years.
“This started when I contacted Parks and Recreation and said there’s a really old playground here that’s pretty beat up,” she said.
“We talked to the DNA and others to talk about what we could do. There’s not a single playground in the entire downtown Loop.”
Goss has two children attending Crossroads Academy and said there also are young families living in downtown too.
“We hope that number (of families) will grow,” she said. “The playground is important for the kids to play and will hopefully activate the park and make it feel safer.”
The new playground is part of an improvement plan that included the opening of a dog park in 2017 that has 275 members and averages 50- to 60 users daily, Lossing said.
The new playground will in include several different play activities including spinners, swings and a climbing feature called Bamboo Jungle. The park will be installing the junior version of the climbing poles.
Lossing said the new playground will be geared for children and teens ages 5 and over. To soften any falls, a safety surface of a thin, artificial lawn will be installed.
The area where the old playground is located will be leveled to allow lawn sports.
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