Wilson Park Playground Resurrected

Wilson Park Playground is expected to be completed within the coming weeks, weather permitting. Credits: Sophie Mannaerts
Wilson Park Platform Tennis Courts are open for play for the 2014 Winter Season. Credits: Sophie Mannaerts
Wilson Park Playground is expected to be completed within the coming weeks, weather permitting. Credits: Sophie Mannaerts
A new staircase leading up to the Wilson Park Platform Tennis Courts. Credits: Sophie Mannaerts

SUMMIT, NJ - Hurricane Sandy left behind great damage in the Garden State, and the recovery efforts continue throughout the region. The Summit Park System suffered damage to buildings, scoreboards and playground areas.  Slowly, these properties have been renovated and are back in service.

The last of those properties to be recovered was Summit’s Wilson Park Playground and Platform Tennis Courts.  Both were heavily damaged from falling trees and high winds.  Two large trees came tumbling down during the storm crushing the play apparatus at Wilson Park Playground, much to the dismay of the neighborhood kids and children of Wilson School who played there daily.  The Platform Tennis Courts had high wind damage to the frame, light poles and surfaces.

The Wilson Park Platform Tennis Courts were partially repaired following Hurricane Sandy and were open for the 2012-2013 Winter Season.  Recently, other repairs and improvements were completed including new doors, staircase, lighting and skirting.  Most of the repairs were funded through insurance settlements with the last phase locally funded.

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Rehabilitation of both properties was made possible in part through insurance coverage of the properties.  The Wilson School Playground will be resurrected through a combination of insurance settlements, local funding and a matching grant from the Union County Kids Recreation Trust Fund Grant for 2013.

The planning for the new and improved playground was a team effort by parents of children from the neighborhood, representatives of Wilson Primary School and the Staff of the Summit Department of Community Programs.  Three companies were considered to provide the play equipment.  The firm of Marturano Recreation was selected by both price, concept and number of amenities. Whirl Construction was selected to install the new playground equipment.

Installation of the playground equipment began on Monday, January 13.  Workers on site removed old railroad ties, levelled the area and prepared for the equipment to be installed. Mountains of boxes and crates littered the area with tons of fun equipment waiting for installation.  The project should be completed in two to three weeks, weather permitting.  A celebration of the new playground will be planned for early Spring.

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