BNP playground 5_12_ramped treehouse structure

The proposed 5 to 12-year-olds ramped treehouse structure for Bowie Nature Park’s new playground.

The first of two workshops to discuss the future Treehouse Playground in Bowie Nature Park generated good news September 16 in regards to money-saving measures and fundraising totals.

Playground Build Committee members met with city leaders to discuss the final details on the current phase of the project before playground components are ordered.

City Manager Scott Collins explained he had spoken with Nathan Chance, of Great Southern Recreation, the playground vendor, and learned the City can order playground components in November with payment due upon their delivery in February.

With price increases in the playground industry typically occurring in January, Collins confirmed placing the order in November could save $50,000 on the project total.

The total needed for the entire plan is approximately $750,000 with the city having pledged $600,000 from a planned bond re-issue. Fundraising and grants will cover the remaining $150,000.

The workshop also included discussion on desired fencing, sidewalks and a donor monument.

Chris Grayson, who chaired the original community Treehouse Playground Committee in 1998, shared information about using composite material for a fence and engraving the pickets with names of people in the community in exchange for a donation to the Playground Build Fund.

Two concerns were raised regarding sidewalk changes needed for the playground project.

First, the sidewalk leading up to the old playground entrance is too steep to be ADA compliant. A new sidewalk is needs with a zig-zag wheelchair entry on a shallower grade.

Second, the current playground design has the zip line on the opposite side of the existing perimeter sidewalk from the main playground. The location was chosen to keep the existing sidewalk. However, when the playground is fenced, the zip line would require its own fencing unless the sidewalk is moved.

There was some discussion about the donor plaques and a wall made of engraved bricks that can be purchased for a donation. It was noted that Mayor Debby Rainey has been working on the wall and how to incorporate the personalized bricks saved from the original Treehouse Playground. Rainey was out of town at a government conference and unable to attend the workshop.

All agreed to bring back more detailed information and any questions to the second workshop which has been rescheduled to take place on Thursday, October 21 at 5:30 p.m. at city hall with Nathan Chance scheduled to participate in the discussion.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The second workshop scheduled for Thursday, October 7 was rescheduled to October 21 along with the City Commission meeting due to a lack of quorum.

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