The Future of Elmhurst Parks and Wilder Park Playground

It is as suprising to you as it is to me that I suddenly care about the playground equipment at my local parks, but I really do!  And, that's why this story about how Elmhurst is thinking about rehabbing some play areas in the Tribune (and Trib Local) grabbed my interest - which is where, incidentally,  I grabbed this photo from

Specifically, they're interested in getting feedback on the playground equipment at Wilder Park (and the park layout in general) - which is the most centrally-located park and the largest one that is close to our downtown.  They're thinking pretty big on some issues, but also working on some specific quality-of-life details like they are already considering a rubberized surface instead of the current wood chips (nice!).    Of special note to me is that they're using Google Docs as the host for their public presentation and YouTube to host their videos of the Wilder Park site.  Nice use of the Cloud, Elmhurst Park District!  The full deck for their public presentation is here.

The one thing that Nat and I are particularly attuned to is the playground equipment for really little kids.  We actually love Wilder Park because it has a set of equipment (steps, slide, these musical bars) that are specifically designed for smaller kids who can't play on their own.  The Babe has spent quite a bit of time this summer on this very playground (I have video I'll share at some point!).   I'm certain that they're not focusing on this younger segment (based on the article, they mention school-aged kids as their target), but hopefully they'll keep at least this one pod of equipment focused on younger kids.  

Ask me in ten years and I'll probably have a different answer about what should be in the parks, but for now, I'm providing my feedback on the Elmhurst Park District website and you can do the same here with their Wilder Park survey.


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