The rock wall.

For the parents of small children there is nothing like the anticipation of new playground equipment. Yes, it’s for the kids but the thing is when you have small children you spend a lot of time at playgrounds so the idea of something different is intrinsically appealing. Plus the better the playground, the more they actually play.

You get to know them all well, but you inevitably have your favorites. For those of us on team Everhart, we have been waiting for an upgrade for a while now. First it was Kathy McBratnie Park. Then Marshall Square Park got a whole new set up. While, we’ve waited patiently with our fire engine. 

To be fair, Everhart Park did get an update about five years ago. Seemly in the dead of night someone came in and switched out the slide and added a rock wall. No one knew it was coming. I’m not sure anyone asked. Just there it appeared. A slide twice as high as the original to the delight of every two year old in a five mile radius. Ever since that fateful day, nervous parents have cursed that slide as they’ve pulled screaming toddlers away or watched as wobbly legs ascend higher and higher, and higher.

Who thought this slide was a good idea?

Well, fans of Everhart Park, it is finally our turn. The Friends of Everhart Park and the Borough of West Chester are coming together to bring you that playground you have been waiting for and this time they are welcoming, encouraging even, feedback.

What’s the latest

We are, my friends, at the early stages of this process. 

Last month the Friends of Everhart Park approved the budget to begin developing a schematic design for the new playground. To create the design they will be working with Play by Design, a playground designer that according to their website, “produces custom designed play structures that are safe, affordable and all-inclusive.”

Play by Design will be hosting a community programming session to decide what will be built and what, if any, of the current equipment will stay. One of the ideas being considered is combining everything into a single play area. 

Will the fire engine make the cut? Now, I’m getting a little nostalgic.

While, the date of the planning session has not been set yet, Susan Frens, of Friends of Everhart Park says, “We have been encouraged to engage [Play by Design] as soon as possible.” With hopes that construction will begin next year. 

How can I help?

To paraphrase the Play by Design website, their designs are only limited by the communities wishes, the site, and its budget. If you are interested in helping make the Everhart Playground redesign magical for kids for years to come, here are several ways to get involved:

  1. You can make a donation directly to Friends of Everhart Park
  2. Come out Saturday to the Chester County Art Association and support the the Recycled Pre-Owned Art sale while scoring yourself some new artwork. (I mean check out these amazing options. Win. Win.)
  3. Participate in a planning session. (Dates to come.)
  4. Help spread the word.

There’s plenty of time for anyone who wants to get involved, to get involved, so spread the word. There’s no need for anyone to wake up to a super high slide (again.)

P.S. I’ll share planning information as soon as it’s available. Follow the blog for the latest updates.

Plus, a great place to try now that it’s cappuccino weather, the secret to scoring a place in West Chester Library’s coveted story hour – and here’s a link to Play by Design’s portfolio of projects if you want to get an idea of what’s possible.


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