SIDNEY — New play structures at Sidney’s Plum Ridge Park now offer childen new challenges to keep them active and learning, according to Duane Gaier, Sidney Parks and Recreation director.
Annually, the city staff rehabilitates at least one playground in one of the many city parks in an effort to provide new and exciting recreational play for the youth of the Sidney, he said. This year’s upgrades happened at Plum Ridge Park at 673 E. Hoewisher Road, where the play structure was 17 years old and starting to show its age. Coatings on the steps and platforms of the modular play equipment were starting to delaminate from the steel substrate; stress fractures were occurring on the plastic features and graffiti were still legible, even after attempts to remove.
“As always, the parks staff wants to provide a safe and inviting play area for the park patrons,” Gaier said.
The new play structures have different climbing features, slides and activity panels. A Zero-G chair swing was added to the swing set, allowing children with physical disabilities, who require additional support, to swing alongside their friends and experience movement apart from their mobility devices.
Besides the day-to-day inspections, every year there is a documented, comprehensive inspection of all structures, bleachers, shelters and fences in every park in the city. There are ASTM International standards that the Sidney Parks Department’s certified inspector must follow when reviewing the park’s amenities. From the inspection data, a list of parks to rehab in the next five years is populated, based not only on the age but more importantly, the condition of the play equipment.
During 2019, the rehabilitation project will be at Roadside Park just south of the Big Four Bridge. The play structure is dated and not looking the best, Gaier said. Some of the features on the play structure have already been removed for safety reasons. These changes will provide safe, inviting and new activities for the kids who utilize Roadside Park.
“We invite the citizens of Sidney to check out this new addition at Plum Ridge Park and to get out and enjoy your parks,” Gaier said.