New playground coming for Murray Hill children

New playground coming for Murray Hill children
Rendering of the proposed Kompan playground for a section of Four Corners Park in Murray Hill

Thanks to the efforts of a few Murray Hill residents who petitioned District 14 Councilman Jim Love for “equal time” when it comes to playgrounds, parents with young children will now have a safe, close place to take their youngsters.

For the past 10 years, Nathan and Candace White have lived a block from Four Corners Park in Murray Hill. The passive park has four quadrants created by the intersection of Lawnview Street and Lamboll Avenue. It has been the site of the annual Very Murray Christmas community picnic hosted by the Murray Hill Preservation Association.

After the Whites’ two children came along, beginning five years ago, they began taking their children to play at the Murray Hill Playground, but found that it was overcrowded.

“The neighborhood is growing,” said Candace White. “More young families are moving in, so we should have a park within walking distance.”

Additionally, Murray Hill Park, located on Kingsbury Avenue, is at least a 20-minute walk requiring crossing at Post Street, which some residents consider dangerous.

“It is simply unsafe for any child to cross this very busy street alone,” said Jessica Zercher, in an email to Councilman Love. “I honestly feel intimidated as an adult crossing this street as the cars speed and do not stop for pedestrian cross walks.” 

Zercher is one of several Murray Hill residents who wrote to Love over a year ago expressing a desire for a small playground. “I have always thought a small playground in this park would be a great way to give children a safe place to play together,” she wrote. “There is no doubt a playground will also help residents get to know our neighbors while giving our community more of a small-town feel.”

Residents met with Keith Meyerl, chief, recreation programming of Parks, Rec-reation and Community Services, in May 2016, at which time they indicated a preference for a small playground in a design that would fit in with the heavily wooded nature of the park.

Stacy Moseley, the Kompan representative who has worked with several community groups and schools in playground renovations, submitted a proposal to include relocating the slide from Boone Park, which was saved when that park’s playground was renovated last year.

“The material selected for this playground is Robinia, which is a hardwood with a 15-year warranty,” said Moseley in an email. “It will blend beautifully with the wooded landscape of Murray Hill’s Four Corners area.”

White, who has been the community representative on the project, said she has only received great feedback about the proposed playground to be located in the northeast quadrant of the park. “It will build a sense of community,” she said.

The estimated cost of the playground is $60,000, which was funded by District 14 bond funds. It is due to be installed early this summer.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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