As part of ongoing efforts to replace and upgrade older playgrounds in JCPRD parks, both Shawnee Mission Park and the Mill Creek Streamway Park have shiny new playgrounds.
The new playground at Shawnee Mission Park’s Shelter #8, located near the southwest corner of the park’s main lake opened in late September, and a new playground at the Northwoods Access Point to the Mill Creek Streamway Park opened Oct. 31.
Both playgrounds are close to the same size as the one they replaced, are designed for ages five through 12, and include a pour-in-place safety surface.
The new Shawnee Mission Park Shelter #8 playground includes: two xylophone-style instruments; drums; four slides; a Netflex climbing element; and other play equipment with names like Boogie Board, Blender Spring, and Wiggle Knot Bridge.
Project Manager Megan Merryman said park maintenance staff requested this new playground be designed in such a way that once a child got on the play equipment, they could go across the playground without ever touching the ground.
“They wanted it to be like the hot lava game,” she said. “So basically, once you get on the playground, you can get all the way across and you don’t really have to get off the equipment unless you’re done playing or you want to get to the instruments. I did try it myself and it is possible.”
New equipment at the Northwoods Access Point Playground includes a NetFlex climbing component, wiggle knot bridge, one slide, and a TightRope Bridge. The existing swings were left as part of the playground, but did not get the pour-in-place surface beneath them.
For this playground, maintenance staff requested the inclusion of some natural-looking elements.
“We added these stepping stones that are supposed to look like wood and a balance beam that is meant to look like a log,” Merryman said. “They’re not wood; it’s man-made material.”
Shawnee Mission Park
is located at 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee and Lenexa. The Northwoods Access Point is located at 1700 Northgate St. east of Woodland, Olathe.