Provo opens new Unlimited Play Center | Provo News
It took a while to complete, but on Thursday Provo opened its first Unlimited Play Center in North Park, 400 West and 500 North.
Several butterflies were released at the opening to represent the freedom that the new play center will bring to children in the city.
“Provo is known as a wonderful place to live with a variety of recreational opportunities, but Provo Parks and Recreation realized that something important was missing,” said Doug Robins, assistant director of Parks and Recreation. “About four years ago Provo Parks and Recreation started a project to target an underserved section of the community, children who, for one reason or another, are often not invited to play.”
Mayor Michelle Kaufusi noted that parks and recreational facilities like these gather spaces, places where the community comes together.
“These parks are the great balancers in a community, open to everyone, regardless of their background. They are places that we share and appreciate together,” said Kaufusi.
“They are the places families gather to celebrate, and they help the community through difficult times. Remember how much we missed interacting in our favorite parks, trails and recreational facilities during this pandemic, ”added Kaufusi.
Places are important in our lives and that is why it takes so much pride in creating outdoor spaces that are worth setting as a backdrop for your memories, noted Kaufusi.
“Now this playground is something special. I love this idea, which has now become a reality as the Unlimited Play Center, ”said Kaufusi. “I can’t think of a better symbolic gesture than a butterfly release to represent how we hope every child will feel in this playground, free to roam and explore, devoid of curiosity – never ability -.”
Kaufusi welcomed everyone to the Unlimited Play Center on Provo’s behalf, “because everyone deserves a place to play”.
In 2018, the city’s staff began working with a committee of residents and experts to discuss how to extend recreational opportunities to all children in the community.
“After several meetings of the design committee, a needs survey, and a design open day for public input, the solution was to create a unique space in North Park adjacent to the Provo Recreation Center at 500 North 400 West. This new playground provides environments where all children can find an opportunity to participate and enjoy the social, cognitive and physical health benefits of play and inclusion, ”said Robins.
Designed by landscape architects with G. Brown Design, the website features:
- Accessible elements – paths, ramps, surfaces and a massive concrete slide.
- 2 zip lines – running parallel so you can let your friend run down the track.
- Lots of different textures, colors, sounds, adventures and challenges
- But also quiet places and rooms that are not so crowded.
- Elements for the whole family – wall seats close to amenities.
- Swings and amenities for multiple participants.
- Existing trees are not simply preserved wherever possible – always here.
- Water efficient landscaping.
- Fences, gates and landscaping work without the feeling of limitation.
- Convenient accessible parking spaces.
- New pavilion with barrier-free picnic tables that several families can stop by.
With a total project cost of USD 964,000, the funds were financed from Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the Provo Recreation Arts and Parks (RAP) tax. Private donations have also been received from doTERRA, Zions Bank, the Larry H. Miller Foundation, and Eagle Scout Enoch Robertson.
“The design was successful in creating a fun and inclusive park around existing shade trees that gave the impression that this new playground has always been here,” said Robins. “The Unlimited Play Center is now the largest playground in town. We appreciate the continued support of the Provo Mayor and Council in our efforts to bring the highest quality recreational facilities to the community.”
The play area and all other activity areas in North Park are open to residents throughout the summer, including the Pioneer Village and the outdoor pools.
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