Monday, December 20, 2010

Washington Park Playfield project wins out

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As we reported in April, Madison Park was one of several contiguous neighborhoods that jointly won the CleanScapes 2010 Neighborhood Waste Reduction Rewards competition. The Thursday pick-up area, which includes Madison Park, had the greatest reduction in non-recycled waste during the competition period. As a result, Madison Park and the other winning neighborhoods were each asked to submit proposals for a neighborhood project to be funded by CleanScapes. Thirteen proposals were received and reviewed by a selection committee, and last week a project to provide new playground equipment for the Washington Park Playfield was declared the winner.

The winning project was apparently the handiwork of the Madison Valley Community Council, though the press release from CleanScapes is strangely silent on what group, precisely, sponsored the proposal. The project is designed to replace the existing swing set at the Playfield with an integrated play area consisting of “one giant, continuous and dynamic play feature” suitable for children five to twelve years old (as shown above). If the kids want to swing, they will just have to come down to the Madison Park play area, where the swings that had been temporarily removed for safety reasons have now been returned.

Representatives from the winning neighborhoods’ community councils served on a project selection committee which chose the winner. Madison Park’s David Hutchins, who served on the committee, commends both the people who generated the project proposals and the CleanScapes team for helping turn those ideas into meaningful, executable projects. “CleanScapes’ generous gift to the community will be used and appreciated for years to come,” he says.

CleanScapes will fund up to $50,000 towards project costs. A supervisor will be hired to coordinate the volunteers who will assemble and install the playground equipment on site. There will be a presentation on the proposed new playground on January 20 in the Visitors’ Center in the Arboretum (6:30-8:00 pm). Those interested in volunteering to install the equipment should contact Candy Castellanos at CleanScapes: (206) 859-6717 or Construction is expected to begin in February and be completed by April.

[Photo courtesy of the equipment manufacturer, Xccent.]


  1. I commend the mad valley residents who submitted the winning proposal. Looks to be a good project.

    A small group of madison park residents, spearheaded by gene brandzel, and w the support of Tradecraft Builders, submitted a proposal to place a kiosk and sculpture @ the dilapitated B.o.A. triangle across from bert's.

    It was/is a good idea, well constructed proposal, but.ultimately ran into too many burecratic roadblocks, and did not gain the $$$ support from cleanscapes.

    So, if anyone w $50,000 would like to see a really beneficial community improvement of a kiosk/great sculpture in mad park, ping me.

    Trent Jackson
    Tradecraft Builders

  2. I haven't heard anyone speak up for the North Madison Park playground. It should be the next-in-line for an upgrade in Madison Park if the focus is, as it has been, on upgrading our children's playground areas. Sure, it received a new swing set a year or so ago, and new wood chips to replace the former gravel, or whatever was there. But go by it now (Dec. 22) and through most of the winter months. The grounds are a pool of water. The area use to be swamplands and maybe it makes sense not to mess with the grounds. But in my book, the playground area of the park should either be returned to swamp land or improved so it can be used throughout the year.


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