IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL PLAY GIVING TOTS A PLACE TO ENJOY

Valley Dispatch Photo by Heidi Smith
A look at Pelham’s Lyons Park, where the town is in the process of building a new play area for children ages 2 to 6.
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PELHAM — Youngsters will finally have a place to call their own this spring. A playground designed specifically for children 2 to 6 will add the finishing touches to Lyons Park in May.

The Parks and Recreation Department has been busy the past six months planning the perfect play space for smaller kids to burn off energy, while giving parents the opportunity to enjoy quality time outside.

“Right now there is only the one playground (Muldoon Park) in town, and all of the elements are designed for older kids about 5 to 12 years old,” said Parks and Recreation Director Darren McCarthy, who is spearheading the project. “Being a parent of younger children myself, I know it’s always more enjoyable to have a safe place to take them outside, rather than being bored and trapped inside the house.”

Currently, Lyons Park contains a skateboard park, basketball courts, softball field and a small soccer field.

The new tot playground will be a red, white and blue structure consisting of a balance beam, two spring rides, a police cruiser, a fire truck, monkey bars, two curve slides, a tunnel and three climbing structures. According to MCarthy, the main attraction will be a double slide that two kids can ride down at the same time. All of the structures are made of heavy duty PVC, a rubberized metal material, to minimize the risk of injury.

Last September McCarthy accepted two grants — The Hillsborough County Division of Children’s Youth and Family Services ($10,000) and the Fighting Obesity Through Play ($8,000). The playground will cost about $28,000. Selectmen recently approved the expenditure in the general budget to cover the remaining $10,000.

“We’ve just been waiting for the ground to unthaw to get started putting the playground together,” said McCarthy.

Once McCarthy secured funding for the project, he went to work on finalizing the construction plans. He worked with a computer design team from Game Time, a national commercial playground equipment manufacturer, to put his ideas for the perfect play space on paper.

The Parks and Recreation Department will host a community building day on May 19, to assemble the playground.

For more information, contact McCarthy at 603-508-3082.