New playground for Bucher Park approved

Shoreview’s Bucher Park will be getting a new playground as part of the city’s master plan for renovations to the park. 

City council members unanimously approved a design for the new playground at a Feb. 19 meeting, which has an estimated cost of nearly $99,000.

City Manager Terry Schwerm said the park, overall, has been well maintained, but most of its features date back to the 1980’s. He said the playground equipment itself is 20-years-old and in need of upgrading.

The Parks and Recreation Commission looked at 12 submitted plans from several companies before choosing a modified plan from St. Croix Recreation.

St. Croix Recreation came in with the lowest bid, but Schwerm said they were also chosen because of the innovative and modern design they came up with for the playground.

“The playground will have some balance and climbing features that most parks in the area do not have and will have play areas for different age groups,” Schwerm said.

Council member Emy Johnson said at the meeting that she was pleased to see that the playground design will have accommodations for people with disabilities and play activities for children of all ages.

The new playground will have separate play areas for toddlers and pre-school children (ages 2-4) and elementary school children (ages 5-12). It will also include climbing and balancing elements, a variety of slides, rocking and swinging elements, an elephant swing and a large canvas shade to protect children and parents from the sun in certain areas of the playground.

There will also be striped paths that resemble road lanes around the playground with mini road signs placed in select areas for safety.

Additionally, new seating areas will be constructed with shade structures in place, as well as new bike racks and a drinking fountain.

Schwerm said construction of the new playground would coincide with other Bucher Park improvements scheduled to take place from May through July with the park reopening in August, depending on weather.

The overall park project will include improvements to the baseball and soccer fields, landscaping, new fitness stations placed around the park trail and a new themed play area, among other modifications.

Schwerm said the baseball fields will remain open throughout the summer, but the soccer fields will be closed until the park projects are complete.

Detailed maps and other information on the park design are available on the city of Shoreview’s website, www.shoreview.gov

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.

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