JACKSON TWP. With the start of spring comes spring cleaning which includes a lot of airing out, cleaning and updating. Jackson Township’s North Park is getting an update this spring in the children’s playground area. Visitors will quickly notice after April 13 that there is colorful, fun new playground equipment installed.
The new equipment is purple and gold and includes several slides, fun walkways, tubes and rocks. It is also wheelchair accessible.
Township Administrator Michael Vaccaro said the new equipment replaces equipment donated in 2002 by a then organized playground committee.
“All of the members of the Playground Advisory Committee helped raise money to design and build an accessible playground for children with disabilities,” Vaccaro said. “Trustee John Pizzino was one of the major contributors to that fundraising drive. The kids’ area was originally built in the 1990s from a state grant that had enough money to put in the gazebo, the pond and the deck along the pond. Then the park committee raised the money for the accessible playground equipment.”
Parks Supervisor Dave Ruwadi said that park crews inspected the equipment daily and did maintenance as it was required.
“The older structure was made of wood and as it aged, it needed more and more maintenance such as power washing, staining and sealing,” Ruwadi said. “Because of the wood construction, it had a limited life. That park committee no longer exists but we did contact a few of the members to let them know were going to replace it.”
The total cost of the new equipment with installation was $216,880 plus a $5,350 freight charge. The township used a $84,000 grant from GameTime Commercial Playground Equipment to help defray the costs. The life span of the equipment is more than 30 years. The equipment will be installed on ADA approved wood chips.
“This is low maintenance playground equipment but we will continue to inspect it every day," Vaccaro said. "This playground is for everybody to use. It’s fun and colorful and it’s a good thing for the township and for everyone to enjoy, have fun and get along.”
Vaccaro said the proposed finish date is April 13 but advised that completion is weather dependent.