The park 2 blocks from our house has been closed and under construction for quite some time as part of a parks levy that passed a couple of years ago. The new park will encompass our old park as well as the enormous water reservoir next door that the city has spent the last 2 years covering and turning into a 16 acre park. To recap - we will soon have a 16 acre park 2 blocks from our house! Before having a kid, this news would have been only medium exciting, but now it's like we live 2 blocks from endless entertainment.
I loved the park to begin with, for it's convenience as much as it's old time-y play equipment. But after months of being closed, the play area portion of the park re-opened this weekend. Since opening on Saturday, we've been 4 times already and it's rocking Edie's world. The other thing it's doing is restoring my faith in humanity. Everyone in the neighborhood has been anticipating this park opening for so long - we've been watching the construction together for weeks and weeks, chatting about it with strangers in line for coffee at the neighborhood coffee shops, pausing with other families to look at the progress from behind the chain-link fence... And now it's open! And the neighborhood is ecstatic.
Every time we go, the playground is full with families and everyone is so happy that Spring is here, we aren't cooped up in our houses any longer, and I think we all feel giddy with the luck of having such an amazing park in what is suddenly an up-and-coming little neighborhood in the city. There is a zip line that is probably the best part of the park and waiting in line for this feature turns into an opportunity for the parents to chat and suddenly it's like I know everyone in the neighborhood and we are all out, flinging our children down the zip line, running them back up to the line, holding the seat so the next parent can lift their kid onto the ride and it all just feels so fabulously old fashioned. Something about the newness and excitement of this park has made us all open up and chat with the people who share our community. I can't wait for the reservoir portion of the park to open this Fall. I feel like we've pretty much secured Edie's birthday party location for the next several years.
These photos don't do it justice and I couldn't photograph the zip line this trip because Jeff wasn't there and I was too busy giving her a running start push down the line and squealing as she zipped to the bottom without letting go to also hold a camera. I'll try for better photos next time. In the meantime: any of yous parents reading this - let's plan a Maple Leaf Park playdate asap.