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Reynolds Park improved, but still no merry-go-round

The new playground at Reynolds Park is open for play. The landscaping is done, for the season, and it has instantaneously taken on a new vibe. Today, I packed a few picnic snacks and the kids into the wagon and we walked down the street. It's only a few blocks from our house, but due to construction on every block, at every intersection, and in every direction, it's an adventure to make it the 1/4 mile.

We happened to run into some neighbors there, a mother, grandma and toddler. Then another family came with two young boys who my kids adore. Another couple came with a child and dog, while another family approached. A friend of mine picked her kids up from Lapham elementary and joined us at the park. It felt natural that folks were coming and going, chatting, playing, drinking from the fountain, wandering on. As if the playground had always been there. As if the park had always been a comfortable, pleasant spot to hang on a sunny afternoon.

I've been telling my daughters about my work on improving the playground. Reynolds Playground otherwise evokes a memorable time late last summer when an older, disheveled man wanted to have a turn pushing them each on the swing. We stayed away for a while after that.

Now, they think of Reynolds as my playground. They sort of think that I built it. I try to explain it truthfully, but whatever. I don't mind being a playground goddess for my kids. But then the oldest asked if I had built a merry-go-round at Reynolds and I had to admit, I wasn't allowed to do that. Why? Rules. Whose rules? Just rules.

It turns out there is a spinning option I wasn't expecting. The equipment is slightly different than I was expecting, but generally, I'm very pleased. Thanks, City. It's a great park. It is a very nice place to be.

Reynolds Park continues to be surrounded by ongoing construction. Big trucks hauling dirt, rolling dirt, and stirring up dust are more than a little entertaining for the kiddos. Today the gaggle of children under age six at the playground perched on various boulders, benches and berms to watch the scene. And then went back to playing!

1 comment:

  1. We owned a house on Johnson Street from 2003-2008 (and on Dayton from 2001- 2003) and I used to play at the sad little Reynolds park all the time with my son (and then daughter).... I drove by just the other day and I was so happy to see that new life was being breathed into the space. Though there were plenty of other parks to walk to from our houses, Reynolds was always the "quick and easy" park and I am thrilled that it is getting some love. We spent much of our time in that park picking up trash! We no longer live on the Isthmus (moved to a farm) and my kids are older now but I miss all the little hidden parks that Madison offers right in its neighborhoods - great job bringing attention to them. What a fun project!