Kalamazoo’s Southside Park In Edison Neighborhood Gets New Playground
It may just be me, but I don't think the kids are spending as much time outside as we used to. It may be that parents are a little more cautious about what their kids are allowed to do and where they're allowed to go and with who or are kids simply enjoying the joys of books, video games, and television a lot more. Either way, the streets and parks are much emptier than they used to be.
Many city and school parks around town have been getting less usage over the past few years and there has been some change, hoping that upgrades will bring kids back outside to enjoy the outdoors. Just over a year ago, Milham Park which is where the Kalamazoo Zoo used to be, saw the playground receive a much-needed face lift and traffic has increased as well. City of Kalamazoo officials are hoping the same will happen for Southside Park after the installation of new equipment.
Southside Park is nestled into the Edison Neighborhood and is one that is mostly used by the same few families or no one at all. It's conveniently located on the corner of Race and Palmer Streets, right behind the Auntie Millie's Bread Bakery Factory that sits on Portage St. The park currently consists of a few swings, one play structure, a basketball court, open field, track, and one baseball backstop. The city has voted to replace the playground and upgrade the park.
The new playground will cost the city a total of more than $364,000 but the City of Kalamazoo was granted a $132,000 grant from playground manufacturer GameTime and the state of Michigan. So, the city of Kalamazoo will only be responsible for paying the remaining $232,000 before the early springtime start date for the project which should be finished by June 1st, just in time for summer.
The new playground will consist of a multi-story play structure that has many different climbing mechanisms, slides, monkey bars and more. Along with a new set of swings and another play structure that I've never seen before. It looks the spaceship version of a merry-go-round so that will be interesting to see. In addition to the new playground, Southside Park will see improvements to its walking trail and basketball courts, as well as the addition of a small, multi-sport field and storage building for the department to use during summer programming.
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