Located in the Hamline-Midway area at 1564 Lafond Ave., this play space has been completely replaced, including new safety surfacing and new drains underneath to keep the playground dry. The new play areas include five new swings (one of which is wheelchair accessible), five new slides, multiple climbers to access the play equipment deck, and a new, climbable frog for users ages 2-5. The playground includes accessible elements that provide play options for people of all abilities.
The largest play structure allows a wheelchair user to access the entire deck from the ground level, providing access to five slides. These upgraded features allow for maximum accessibility and use of the space.
“Our parks and recreation centers offer safe, healthy, and enriching spaces for our entire community,” said Mayor Melvin Carter. “The new additions to Hamline Park expand opportunities for children and families in our city to play, learn, grow, and thrive.”
This project was funded by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a federal program that is specifically for improvements in low income areas and meant to support meaningful community projects. The majority of the $373,000 budget went towards the play equipment, installation, and safety surfacing, with the rest providing new pavement and other infrastructure upgrades to ensure continued accessibility.
Fundraising efforts are underway to install additional tables, benches, a new park sign, and new public art – an undertaking made possible through partnerships with Hamline Midway Coalition and Friends of Hamline Park.
“I am grateful for the partnerships between Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, the Hamline-Midway Coalition, the Friends of Hamline Park and countless neighbors of all ages who have contributed to the vision of the public park we celebrate today,” said Councilmember Mitra Jalali, who represents the area. “It’s my honor to support critical investments like these as a council member, and to help keep the Midway as a special place full of memories to come for kids and families across generations.”
These community groups were instrumental to collecting community feedback. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, community engagement efforts had to be done remotely. The Hamline Midway Coalition and Friends of Hamline Park took ownership of the process to promote virtual meetings and gather feedback via surveys. Additionally, the community members themselves made efforts to submit feedback via these virtual methods including voting on many of the main playground features such as the frog climber and other main climber features leading up to the main play deck.
“The Hamline Midway Coalition is excited to see the community vision for Hamline Park come to realization,” said Hamline Midway Coalition Director Sarah O’Brien. “Many amenities that our community asked for are present in the play structures and landscape. We are thrilled knowing the new improvements to Hamline Park will be enjoyed by community members from across the Midway, and beyond - a central location for all to enjoy. Thank you to the many partners and people that made this vision come to life.”
The new playground is one of many amenities at Hamline Park. Other amenities include a recently renovated futsal court, a basketball court, bike racks, open green space, and the former Hamline Recreation Center building, which is eligible to be registered on the National Register of Historic Places.
About Saint Paul Parks
Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is a nationally accredited and gold medal award-winning organization that manages 179 parks and open spaces, AZA-accredited Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, 26 city-operated recreation centers, more than 100 miles of trails, an indoor and two outdoor aquatic facilities, a public beach, a variety of premium sports facilities, municipal golf courses, and Great River Passage – which is the new identity for all proposed public development along Saint Paul’s more than 17 miles of Mississippi riverfront. For more information about Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, visit www.stpaul.gov/parks.
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