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Walkersville to update Creamery Park with accessible playground

Frederick News-Post - 7/19/2022

Jul. 19—The Walkersville Town Council unanimously approved a proposal on Wednesday to upgrade Creamery Park with play structures compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Some features include a Zero-G Swing Chair, with a hard-back swing for children unable to hold themselves upright; and a Merry Go All, a four-person merry-go-round that is wheelchair-user friendly.

The budget for the playground, which was also approved Wednesday, is $325,000. Most of the project will be funded through state grants, Commissioner Mary Ann Brodie-Ennis said.

Parents have been requesting that Creamery Park be updated, Brodie-Ennis said, since the equipment was old, outdated and unsafe. In an email, Brodie-Ennis wrote that she believes the playground was installed in the early 1990s.

She proposed to the town's Parks Commission last fall the idea of a renovation, she said.

After the Parks Commission looked over the proposal, it went to the burgess and commissioners with questions and recommendations.

New playground equipment is just part of the full update Creamery Park is getting, Brodie-Ennis said.

"It's a face-lift for the entire park," Brodie-Ennis said.

The parking lot, which was previously stone, was paved so that it is better for wheelchair use, she said. There will also be a new sidewalk from the parking lot to the playground equipment.

Additionally, the town will renovate the basketball court with new blacktop, new paint, new hoops and an additional half-court.

"That is a popular basketball court, not just for kids but a lot of the citizens, from kids up to adults ...," she said.

Out of two proposals for the playground, the burgess and commissioners approved a proposal from Cunningham Recreation, a playground equipment company based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Originally, Cunningham Recreation proposed to the town a roughly $316,000 project that included the Zero-G swing and individual spinners.

During the town meeting, however, the burgess and commissioners decided to switch out the spinners for the merry-go-round because it could accommodate more children.

With that, they raised the budget to $325,000, in case the merry-go-round ends up costing more, so the commission can bypass having to bring a budget proposal to be approved at another meeting, Brodie-Ennis said.

Now, the commission needs to confirm that the changes it asked for will fit the $325,000 budget. After that, a Cunningham Recreation representative, the Department of Public Works director, the town manager and Brodie-Ennis will meet to figure out where the new sidewalk will connect with the playground.

"We want to make sure that all the parties involved know how that's going to lay out, and then they can start construction as soon as they have the equipment," Brodie-Ennis said.

Follow Clara Niel on Twitter: @clarasniel


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