There are not that many times kids are asked what exactly they want from adults.
But at Westgate Elementary on Friday, Jan. 17, schoolchildren got the assignment of a lifetime: they were asked to help design two playgrounds for the Arlington Heights Park District.
As part of a District No. 25 Problem Solving Initiative, kids in first and second grade are participating in developing ideas for Arlington Heights Park Planner Colleen McCarty as a first step in the replacement of playgrounds at both Raven and Carousel parks.
The kids began their day by meeting with reps from playground equipment manufacturers -- NuToys, Parkreation, and Zenon Company -- who were met with some rather adult-like questions. "How much does a playground cost," and "What about kids who are in wheelchairs?" were just two of the many inquiries the kids made.
"We are giving the kids a budget and asking them to design their dream playgrounds, and then those designs will be presented to residents in the Carousel and Raven Park neighborhoods on Feb. 4 and 5, respectively. It could be monkey bars or it could be a climbing wall. We are just going to let them put together what they think would be best for kids ages 2 to 12 so everybody can utilize it and so that it's what they want," McCarty said.
"Residents will help decide on the final playgrounds that will be put into the ground," McCarty said.
The Arlington Heights Park District schedules the replacement of each of its playgrounds on approximately a 15-year rotation. Raven Park is at Highland and Burr Oak. Carousel Park is at Suffield and Forrest Drive. Both parks' playgrounds were installed in 1997.
To learn more about the Arlington Heights Park District's Playground Replacement schedule, visit www.ahpd.org/about/park-and-playground-replacement-schedule/.
For more information about the community input meetings for Raven Park and Carousel Park, contact Colleen McCarty at (847) 506-7143 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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