April 19, 2021

Inclusive playground to be built in Osceola

Osceola Park Board decides on equipment supplier for East Clay Street Park

East Clay Street Park

After an hour and a half presentation and discussion, the Osceola Park Board chose Outdoor Recreation Products to provide playground equipment for East Clay Street Park during its meeting March 24.

Rick Ertz, a representative of Outdoor Recreation Products gave a slideshow presentation with mock-up artwork of equipment options. He told the board of testimonials from parents who have taken their children to other playgrounds with similar equipment. Outdoor Recreation Products designed and installed the playground equipment at Warren Family Park in 1994 and redesigned and installed equipment at Little Indian Park in 2008.

“Based on the budget, I tried to think through what we can provide to engage kids of all ages and abilities in an inclusive play environment,” said Ertz.

The designs presented included equipment that can be used by children with physical disabilities, cozy zones designed for children with autism or other sensory issues, and areas for various age levels for families or groups with a wide age range of children.

“I often hear from parents that some play structures are often played down to a certain extent so maybe one sibling could enjoy it but other siblings would not,” said Ertz. “So we tried to look at that and design something to put on a playground to provide multiple opportunities.”

The equipment is geared toward continuous play versus static play. Multiple play events can happen in a single area for a range of ages instead of the typical station where children can only go up in one area and slide down afterward.

Ertz also recommended using concrete as a sub-base for the play area because it will ensure longevity of the surface.

“We would like to be able to start late spring or early summer and have the play equipment area finished this late summer or early fall,” said Parks and Rec Director Tim Riddle.

The rest of the park, which would include a shelter with restrooms, shade structures, trees, bushes and adult exercise equipment will be done as the funds become available. The estimate for the entire park is $458,000, of which $311,000 is the estimate for the play equipment alone.

The board voted to approve the use of Outdoor Recreation Products for the concept and installation of playground equipment at the East Clay Street Park with the understanding that final design could vary from the mock-ups they saw based on budget constraints.

Memorial

Ryan Rychnovsky approached the Park Board at their meeting March 24 to get approval for two memorial shelters to be put up at the baseball field complex in honor of Rick Courcier.

“Baseball was Rick’s sport that he loved growing up,” said Rychnovsky.

The board gave Rychnovsky approval to move ahead with his plans for the memorial.




Tyra Audlehelm

I grew up in Osceola and live here still with my husband and son. I graduated with my Bachelor degree in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2017. I have work at the OST since January of 2018.