Community Partnership Renovates Neighborhood Park
Residents of one Clayton neighborhood streamed into their local Taylor Park on the evening of Wednesday, September 7, 2016 to celebrate recent playground and other park improvements made possible by a partnership or area organizations.
Children clambered to be the first try out each feature of the new modern play structure. The structure, intended for children ages 2-6, provides numerous opportunities for spatial and kinesthetic learning through a variety of climbing spaces, interactive stations, and child favorite slides. A central ramp allows children of all abilities as well as caretakers to gain easy access to most sections of the structure. Poured-In-Place rubber surfacing provides a bouncy surface without the hassles of loose material and a metal slide was even included to ensure children with sensitivities to the static energy created by plastic have an opportunity to slide as well. The main structure was topped with umbrellas to shade the hot summer sun. A new faux tree stump post stands nearby in a wholly new play area to provide swings for the older children. A decades old gazebo, standing between the two play areas, was given new life by being flanked between the areas. Parents can now use the space to rest and children can use the space for anything their imagination can conjure.
The children continued to play as parents, neighbors and officials gathered nearby to briefly talk about how these great renovations were made possible. The bulk of the funding for the playground and park came from the Municipal Park Grant Commission of St. Louis County. The City of Clayton dedicated additional funds to enhance the safety of the park through lighting, seating and other features. The City also commissioned a committee of local residents and park staff to guide the selection of the playground designer, Cunningham Recreation, as well as the features that will make both the park and the playground a strong community gathering space for the years to come. Finally, the Clayton Century Foundation, a private-public fundraising organization, secured an additional donation from the Opus Foundation to bring new landscaping to the park in the form of native plants, fresh sod and a new sidewalk that allows visitors to walk along an edge of the park to an existing entryway.
After the remarks neighbors continued to enjoy the park and celebrated with hotdogs, popcorn and ice cream as well as some simple carnival games.