Parents' Take On Wagar Park Redesign

As a resident who lives near Wagar Park and goes there regularly with my young children, I was thrilled to learn that the city was planning on redesigning this space. I attended the second “re-envisioning” meeting for Wagar Park, where the three new park design concepts were unveiled to the public for the first time, and was disappointed that the two groups which seem to use the park the most (families of small children and middle school children) where not in attendance, most likely due to the time of day that the meeting was held (dinner/ bed time).  In response to this deficit of input, I hosted my own informal meeting on August 23rd to ask other parents what they would like to see in the new Wagar Park and their opinions of the three concepts put forth by the city. These were my findings. 

Bathrooms and Water Fountains

This was the number one amenity that came up from everyone I talked with.


Plant more trees, yes, but please don’t cut down the existing trees.


There were concerns that the poured in place rubber, which is currently the main ground cover on the playground, may be toxic (from off-gassing as well as if ingested when small particles breakdown). The other concern was if the city sprays the grass to help control weeds. Parents want to limit exposure to chemicals whenever possible. Most said that they preferred woodchips, which is the groundcover that the city just put in place at all three of the new elementary school playgrounds.


Yes, parents want it! However, there seemed to be a split between those who thought the half court proposals were fine and those who wanted at least one full court. 

Ice Skating

Parents loved this idea! What a great way to utilize this space in the winter.

It was amazing how many great ideas came out of this informal meeting of parents. I hope that in the future the city will seek out parents’ input as well as that of the middle school kids that currently use the park on a daily basis after school. Together, we can come up with a park design that is beautiful, functional, and utilizes the existing resources of the space.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 4:10 PM, 08.30.2016