DeKalb Park District Seeks Resident Feedback for Hopkins Park Playground Design – Shaw Local
DeKALB – DeKalb Park District management wants the community to be involved in the design of a new playground at Hopkins Park, 1403 Sycamore Road.
At a meeting held as an open house on Monday, Park District officials invited residents to learn more about the amenities that could be installed next spring. Anyone unable to attend Monday’s meeting and interested in providing feedback is encouraged to complete the Park District form online survey at dekalbparkdistrict.com.
The deadline for submission is Tuesday.
John Shea, executive director of the DeKalb Park District, said it was clear the time had come for the Park District to consider investing in a new playground at Hopkins Park.
“This playground was installed in 2005,” Shea said. “It’s one of our main parks that everyone loves. … The playing field, again, is just 17, almost 18. Playground parts are hard to find [and] replace.”
The safety of the district’s playground equipment is inspected monthly, and replacements are scheduled every 15 to 17 years, officials said. Hopkins Park Playground is up to date with its inspections.
But Shea said one of the slides has been closed to visitors because there is a damaged part and replacement parts cannot be easily obtained due to its age.
“Due to it being broken, we went to get parts,” Shea said. “Knowing that parts for this playground are harder to find and need to be replaced in our inventory due to life expectancy, we just want to make sure we have a playground that meets the demands. from the public and that all elements are open.”
The district is evaluating two proposed concepts for a new playground design at Hopkins Park, one of which is similar to the existing structure and another that would feature a giant wooden boat theme.
Shea said the two concepts share some similarities, but where they differ is in a good way.
“They’re just presented in a different way,” Shea said. “The two are completely different just to see what the community would prefer. We want community feedback to ensure that the playground designed to replace the existing playground located at Hopkins Park meets the demands of the DeKalb community.
Shea said both concepts have dedicated play areas for 2-5 year olds and another for 5-12 year olds.
He also said each offers similar components that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act to encourage kids of all abilities to play with each other.
Shea said he was pleased with the turnout at Monday’s meeting.
“The people who came out were engaging,” he said. “It was great to see not only the parents taking the survey, but also the kids themselves taking the survey and saying, ‘I like this slide. I like this component. And I like it.’ This is the feedback we want. We want to make sure that what we are going to build will replace the existing playground and meet the demands of the public.