Our Beloved “Castle Park” Is One For The History Books
Since the 80’s, the playground, or Castle Park as it’s come to be known, inside Winter Park’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Park has been a synonymous with children’s play time in the Winter Park area. Decade after decade new generations of children have casted loud shrieks from the walkways and played hide and seek underneath the huge play structure’s beams and walkways. The parks name comes from the shape of the wood, which was formed by volunteers, along with the other donated supplies.
Just like real castles, which have long been explained throughout lore and history books, the leaders of Winter Park are weighing their options in regard to a new, but very different castle, for children to explore for another four generations.
The Castle Park Is Getting A Facelift
As for now, the Castle Park lacks the proper wheelchair access and equipment. The city is looking for ways to include attractions for younger children who may not yet be walking. Toys that will incorporate touch, sight, and reaction to help their developing minds. The firm that was hired by the city of Winter Park in 2013 was to redesign and improve the entire park. Most of the work is complete and now the firm’s attention will finally be turned towards the playground itself.
The integrity of the iconic park has declined after almost 40 years of abuse. The Castle Park technology is outdated, and the park is experiencing structural issues. Parents have voiced how much their children enjoy visiting and playing at the park. The firm hired to redesign the park said that the newer and safer park doesn’t have to be boring.
What Do Citizens And Parents Think?
There are many options to choose from when it comes to the redesign. The material used may be different, the colors, even the types of textures could be revamped. The firm is focused on making sure that children reserve the ability to walk through the structure and hide, peek around corners, and continue their exploration on their own terms.
Some Winter Park residents are a bit hesitant about tearing down almost forty years of history. However, some parents found solace in the fact that they’ve been able to give their input on how the new Castle Park should look. Most parents recommended design concepts that strongly resemble the original Castle Park. Most even prefer keeping the original wooden material over new shiny plastics and metals. However, already we’ve seen rejections of other traditional playground games. Games such as tic-tac-toe and balance beams, in search of more original and unique ideas. That seems to be the main focus of parents.
Recently a meeting was held that allowed parents to share the ideas that they like the most. While some of the options discussed were disliked, many of the ideas were met with excitement. Ideas such as a splash pad, rock climbing wall, and large slides with plenty of twists, were met with applause. Parents and citizens alike are excited to see what the community can come up with. It’s up to us to amaze the next generation of children.
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