It wasn’t that they disliked the other options. But for brothers Jalen, 10, Kelby, 6, and Julian, 4, the “Tree Line Adventure” was the clear winner.
“It’s not just like a regular park where you have a slide,” said Jalen of the design, which features an intricate web of ropes and bridges suspended from poles and towers. “You have climbing — everything’s climbing.”
The giant slide at the center of the “ABC, 123” design was appealing, of course. As was the giant central structure of “The Mountain.” But for the brothers, “Tree Line Adventure” was the consensus choice.
“It’s like our Star Wars game, where you’re in the treetops,” said Kelby.
Jalen, Kelby and Julian were three of dozens and dozens of kids who cast their ballots on which playground structure they’d like to see built in the new Meadowbrook Park. Johnson County Park and Recreation District had planned to hold the voting at Tuesday’s VillageFest, but when the rain washed the Fourth of July fair out, staff decided to set up outside the Prairie Village pool Thursday instead. All day long, as busloads of daycare kids and cars full of families pulled up to the pool, JCPRD staff walked the young ones through the options and encouraged them to vote.
The parks district put out a call for concepts for the “destination playground” earlier this year, and narrowed the field to three finalists. The playground, which was envisioned to include a set of features not offered at any other playground in the metro area, will ultimately cover 15,000 square feet in the northeast quadrant of the new park. With a budget of $700,000, it will be one of the central features of the first phase of park construction and is scheduled to be completed by next spring.
Parks staff are tallying yesterday’s votes from the kids, and will be announcing the winner at Monday’s parks board meeting.