Planning a New Playground for Washington Park
Happy New Year! We’re happy to report our progress on planning a new playground. Over the past year, the Washington Park Conservancy has convened a committee including fifteen individuals representing local neighborhood associations and community based organizations...
Albany’s historic Washington Park needs a new playground!
From tulips in the spring to leaf peeping in the fall, Washington Park is one of the most popular attractions in the city of Albany. This beloved gem of the city park system serves not just Albany residents, but visitors who come from far and wide to enjoy this historic park. For families with children, the Washington Park playground, located on the northern edge of the park, is particularly popular. But the playground simply does not meet the needs of a bustling park in the heart of downtown Albany. The current equipment is inadequate, unsafe in some cases, and not accessible or developmentally appropriate in others. The playground also lacks fencing or a boundary, which makes safe supervision of a child or groups of children a challenge, and seating is inadequate.
The Washington Park Conservancy is leading the process of planning a new playground that will serve the diverse users of the park. Our goal is to rebuild a new playground in Washington Park that will offer a safe, engaging and accessible space in which children of all abilities have the opportunity to enjoy inclusive play. Accessible recreation facilities are key elements of strong, safe, family-friendly communities and help to give a neighborhood an identity. Neighborhoods that surround the park, nearby businesses and organizations will also benefit from a new playground as will the many groups that use the park for meet-ups, birthday parties, church picnics, and summer camp visits.
A diverse group of individuals, organizations, and businesses have committed to help the Washington Park Conservancy plan the new playground for Washington Park. If you would like to join us, please contact Playground Committee Chair Sarah Read at [email protected]
Planning, Community Engagement and Fundraising
Selection of playground consultants, soliciting community feedback to ensure the resulting playground accommodates the needs of the next generation of children to play in Washington Park.
Community Engagement, Fundraising and Playground Design
Input from community members, residents and stakeholders will be incorporated into playground concept design. Fundraising, generating public awareness ,and building support for the project through community meetings and events.
Working with the City of Albany Recreation Department and Department of General Services, old playground structures will be removed or relocated. Groundwork needs to be complete in order for structures to be set in place.
Completion and Celebration
We hope to complete the project in 2022, as part of Washington Park’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. A Ribbon Cutting will welcome the community to the playground and provide an opportunity to publicly thank the supporters of the project.
Justin Atlas, Dept of Recreation, City of Albany
Druis Beasley, community member
Jeffrey Crumpton, Hudson Park Neighborhood Association
John DeBois, President, Hudson/Park Neighborhood Association
Elisabeth Draper, Buckingham Pond Conservancy
Kerry Gribbon, Girls, Inc.
Andrew Harvey, President, Park South Neighborhood Association
Amelia Hershberger, Center Square resident & parent
Shadi Khadivi, President, Washington Park Neighborhood Association
Ta-Sean Murdock, Mission Accomplished Transition Services, Grand Street Community Arts
Sarah Read, Washington Park Conservancy
Jackie Ring, President, Center Square Neighborhood Association
Princess Smith, Arbor Hill/West Hill resident and parent
Sam Shipherd, Washington Park Conservancy
Stacey Stump, Center Square resident & parent
Michaela Sweeney, Open Space Institute, Washington Park Conservancy