I couldn’t write about this last week because it felt too sad, but I think it’s important to recognize that kindness, beauty and innovation still exist in a world so bruised and reeling.
Last week, two little park experts and I set off on a project to rate Appleton parks. We made a chart and intended to spend 15 minutes at each park on our list.
We graded the parks on three categories – beauty, equipment and friends.
Mostly, we all three could not believe how lucky we are to live in a city with such an amazing variety of playgrounds. I thought we had found a clear winner when we landed at Memorial Park, which completed a $600,000 upgrade of its already fantastic universal playground in 2020.
I loved everything about it – the accessibility, the colors, the quiet spaces, the music lessons and percussion places. That playground is so beautiful and so accommodating for everyone. Every child should be able to enjoy an afternoon swing on a bright summer day and at Memorial Park they can do that and so much more.
My teammates loved it for its giant blue slide and the ropes course you have to climb to get there.
I really think there is something for everyone at this playground – a pirate ship that moves, a climbing tree that looks like it was plucked right out of the Hundred Acre Woods, a giant hill to race your friends down and music everywhere.
We would like to note that the bathroom facilities are a challenging sprint from the equipment, but they are very nice once you arrive.
We meant to stick to our strict 15 minutes-at-each-park schedule, but we ended up staying an hour at Memorial because there was so much to do. So, I thought this one was the clear winner.
But, Pierce Park has a zip line, and City Park has a fountain and an airplane and fire chief’s car and Erb Park is our home.
So, our experts concluded that they love all the parks and that everyone should try to play in as many of them as they can because summer is short and we need to cram as much fun in as we can.