Local News

October 4, 2012

City asks public to help with park design

CHICKASHA — City park director Wayne Burns looked to the public last night for help in deciding which playground designs would best fit three Chickasha parks.

Bids for Shannon Springs, Washita Valley, and 12th and Alabama parks have been made from eight different vendors.

By giving the public a say, Burns hopes to eliminate some of the vandalism problems the city has experienced in the past.

"When citizens get involved with their park and recreation systems, their quality of life improves," Burns said. "When citizens invest in their community, they take more ownership for that community."

As part of the overall selection process, the community was invited to Shannon Springs' bath house last night to observe all of the playground proposals. Attendees were given three stickers to apply to the plans they liked. According to Burns, the input from last night will help him make his final decision, which will be given at the city council meeting on Oct. 15.

According to the Chickasha Parks and Recreation Department's request for proposal document, provided by Burns, each park has its own budget. Both Shannon Springs and Washita Valley park have a budget of $33,250. The 12th and Alabama park has a smaller budget of $19,000. Once a bid is officially chosen, construction will begin immediately and the playground will be ready for the public no more than 120 days later.

The document also states, "quality of equipment components, quality of design, play value, handicapped accessibility, inclusiveness, cost, appropriateness to location and target demographic must be taken into consideration in the design of the play system."

According to Burns, parks aren't just for looks. They have long term benefits for the individual and the community.

"Parks and recreation opportunities encourage citizens to be engaged in their communities - as volunteers, stewards, advocates and students," Burns said. "Community recreation reduces alienation, loneliness, and anti-social behavior."

According to Burns, he isn't expecting any negative backlash regarding the money the city intends on spending on the three parks.

"Our effective parks and recreation facilities do not just happen on their own," Burns said. "They require professional care and financial support to keep them clean, safe and suitable for the community they serve. Our health, our community, our economy and our environment all benefit from investments in parks and recreation opportunities."


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