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Public Invited to Ribbon Cutting to Launch Re-opening of Fairview Park

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Public Invited to Ribbon Cutting to Launch Re-opening of Fairview Park

The St. Charles Park District will hold a ribbon cutting on the evening of Wednesday, July 26, to commemorate the grand re-opening of Fairview Park.

The event will take place from 5-7pm at the park, located at the corner of Oak and 19th Streets, with the ribbon cutting scheduled for 6pm.  Refreshments are provided and the public is invited to attend.

The ceremony is the culmination of a process that began in the fall of 2015 when renovation plans were first considered by the St. Charles Park District Board of Commissioners.  In September 2016, the park district held a community meeting at Fairview Park with neighboring residents to present three different concept designs and receive feedback.

“The Fairview meeting was the most well attended we’ve ever had, with more than 40 people of all ages stopping by to weigh in on what they wanted to see in the playground redesign,” said Laura Rudow, Superintendent of Parks and Planning.  “I love that they got to see such a positive outcome in the public process. Less than one year later, the playground they picked is installed.”

Among the features most important to playground users and neighbors were swings, open space, and ways in which children of all ages can challenge themselves physically. Climbing apparatus of any kind are a popular trend in playground design, and park district staff worked in conjunction with landscape architect firm Upland Design to create a number of climbing features that are connected in ways so that the entire climbing structure could also be used as an obstacle course. Children can scurry over a rope bridge, slither down a slide or scramble across a jungle gym, as a complete course challenge or play on each structure individually.

“You can climb, leap and stretch from one piece to the next without falling,” said Rudow.  

Swings for all abilities are also a prominent feature of Fairview Park’s redesign.  Three different types of swings provide a variety of recreational experiences:  a basic belt swing for individual play; an Espression Swing that gives a parent the ability to face their child and swing with them; and a nest-style swing that accommodates multiple people at one time.  

Other new Fairview Park amenities include a painted hopscotch game, a bike rack, benches, and a drinking fountain with an accompanying dog bowl for pets. 

Demolition of the old playground took place in November 2016, and Innovation Landscape of Plainfield, Illinois, began excavation and site preparation that same month.  Good winter weather allowed the project to get underway ahead of schedule with Phase I of the renovation open for play in February, 2017.  The installation of remaining equipment began in March 2017 with Phase II completed and ready for use by May 2017.

The re-designed Fairview Park is about three times the size of the old park footprint, according to park officials.  The project was part of capital budget and resource evaluations park district officials conduct on an annual basis.

 “We have a master plan for how new amenities that may be lacking in a particular planning area can be incorporated in the community,” said Rudow.

Park district officials considered the high density of the surrounding neighborhood when choosing the final design.  As a result, the playground is significantly larger than the old one, with more components than would be typically installed.

 

“We wanted to make this public open space a walkable destination for people of all ages and abilities,” said Rudow.  

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