ROSEMOUNT - This spring, area youth and families can enjoy new, colorful playground equipment at Winds Park.
Rosemount Parks and Recreation Director Dan Schultz shared a playground proposal with Rosemount City Council during its April 16 meeting.
City Council approved purchasing new playground equipment for $80,000 from St. Croix Recreation/Burke in Burnsville. Rosemount Parks and Recreation Commission and the Rosemount Youth Commission approved the city park upgrade after a meeting Feb. 21, alongside neighborhood residents.
City staff created a request for proposal for vendors and took playground submissions. The review groups considered seven different playground proposals and the group also invited the neighborhood to attend another joint meeting held April 8.
The Winds Park upgrade will be a 20- to 25-year investment, Schultz said.
"We feel like it is a pretty good investment for $80,000, and a lot of kids will grow up playing on this equipment and go on to do bigger and better things," Schultz said. "We had all our proposals out on big boards and we made them all copies on the information sheets that summarized each piece of playground equipment and what makes them unique."
The vote was unanimous in favor of buying equipment from St. Croix Recreation in Burnsville.
Schultz discussed how old city park playgrounds like at the Jaycee Park had rubberized trails that led to trails and were made up of pea gravel.
"The only way someone with special needs could get to those parks would be to travel along those rubberized paths - the pea rock is not considered ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible for older people to use or for those with special needs to use," Schultz explained.
If the city switches over so all parks are made with a special engineered fiber, Schultz said that materials create a bond across the surface and then they can be better accessed in a full capacity and not just a little pathway at the park.
The new playground components are designed for youth ages 2-5 years old and another piece is designed for older ages 5-12 to play upon. Another piece is swings that allow youngsters to swing with parents and are ADA accessible with bucket swings.
Residents weighed in on choices for the equipment's color palette. They considered some designs with more traditional shades of green, tans with reds and gray but Schultz said the last couple of city parks are designed with this color scheme.
"They asked for something that was a little more vibrant with primary colors and not your nature tone colors," Schultz said.
The group selected playground pieces to showcase shades of navy, lime green and bright hues of orange as the color palette.
City staff will order the equipment that takes around four weeks to build and ship. The plan is to have the new playground installed this spring.
Rosemount City Council member Jeff Weisensel said he talked with a resident about having the parks on the city website reflect if they are ADA accessible.
"I think that would help people better understand and maybe they could understand that if this park is ADA compliant," Weisensel said.
Schultz agreed that was a good idea and added "We are also in the process of working with Dakota County to get a CDA (Community Development Block) grant to do upgrades to a number of our parks in the way of accessibility and ramps into the parks with rubberized ramps and not trails."