Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced plans Friday for a new playground at Douglass Park.
The park is 100 years old, and the announcement of the design and construction comes as the city celebrates the park’s centennial.
“You know, sometimes we can love a place too much, and 100 years can kind of creep up on you,” Gray said. “So Douglass, of course, has shown some signs of wear and tear and that’s why the centennial commission has been working on improvements.”
Douglass Park is very important to the Georgetown Street neighborhood. A lot of people enjoy it. We want to make sure it’s up to date and well maintained.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray
Gray was joined by First District Councilmember James Brown, who said the playground will be a collaboration among multiple community partners such as the Georgetown Street Neighborhood Association; 100 Hands for Douglass Park, a community service group dedicated to reviving the park; Lexington Parks and Recreation, and the Douglass Park Centennial Commission.
Existing playground equipment will be moved to the rear of the park, Brown said.
$160,000was requested by Councilmember James Brown to relocate the toddler playground to the back of the park and install the new playground near the front
Brown said improvements include a new walking trail, football and multipurpose fields, new fencing and way-finding signs around the park.
“This newly redesigned playground will be a welcome amenity along with the run-out slide and other pool improvements that the mayor has proposed in his budget,” Brown said.
Michelle Kosieniak, the city’s superintendent of parks planning and design, said existing playground equipment will be move beginning in August, to be followed by installation of the new equipment.
Kosieniak estimated that construction would take 45 days, but the schedule is dependent on weather and other factors.
She said the inspiration for the design of the new playground came from what’s commonly called the drinking gourd, or the big dipper.
“Using that form of a spiral, the site is designed in the same location as the existing playground, but it’s going to incorporate new equipment that’s not found in any other Lexington park,” Kosieniak said.
The Douglass Park Centennial Commission has additional plans during the summer to celebrate the park’s birthday:
▪ Saturday, June 4, will be the Douglass pool party from noon until 4 p.m.
▪ Dirt Bowl Basketball Tournament, June 17-August 7.
▪ Super Sunday neighborhood celebration, July 17.
▪ YMCA Back-to-School Rally, July 30.
▪ Talent shows, pageants, family movie nights throughout the summer.
More information about the park’s centennial celebrations can be found on the commission’s Facebook page.