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Hart Park Playground Now Open for Business

The heck with official openings. There's nothing to stop kids from coming to enjoy Wauwatosa's newest attraction.

The wraps have come off Wauwatosa's new community playground in , and it didn't take long for scores of families to discover it.

Most of the "keep out" construction fencing was taken down Wednesday morning, and soon, as if drawn by a magnet, kids arrived to take charge.

Nobody, especially those around 8 years old, was bound to wait for the official grand opening and ribbon-cutting scheduled for June 8, and they didn't.

The play structures have been in place for a weeks, and is deemed safe for rough and ready action, and sod was laid last week and has been watered in.

So, let the play begin.

Orion, 5, of Milwaukee enjoyed playing and snacking on a mini-picnic while his mom, Andrea Voncks, reclined on one of the replica logs in the "little kids'" play area.

Orion said he liked the playground a lot. Why? Because "It's big," he said.

Wauwatosa architect Ed Haydin, who designed the playground with its combination of colorful modern play pieces and , said he had stopped by in the evening after work to see how the real customers for his craft liked it.

"It was great," Haydin said. "An older kid said, 'This is the most awesome playground ever!'

"So I asked him why, and he said, 'Because they don't treat us all like we're little kids.'

"In fact, hardly any of the little kids were on the little kids' play area," Haydin said. "They were all on the older kids' stuff. So maybe that's what we look at going ahead, is adding a little something more in that younger kids' area."

Alfred May 24, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Seems like a nice park although I am not too excited about all of this plastic and fiberglass that is used for playground equipment...seems to wear out in 5-7 years and looks horrible. What happened to quality playground equipment that was used in the 60s and 70s?
Ms. Esther Meyers May 25, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Alfred the 70's called. It doesn't want you back. The 60's are not answering either. Guess you should make the best of this era.
Jim Price May 25, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Alfred, I've had the opposite observation. I recently wrote about the playground equipment at Lincoln Elementary School, which was installed less than 15 years ago and made mostly of steel components. Many pieces were peeling and rusting and moving parts had become frozen. About half of it needs to be replaced. By contrast, the play structure at Jacobus Park was installed nearly 20 years ago and made of mostly plastic components (not the posts and fittings, of course, but floors, walls, roofs, slides, etc.). It's still in fine shape overall. The standard play pieces at Hart Park are likewise a composite of steel structural members and fixtures (nuts and bolts) and plastic forms. They come from a highly reputable Midwest source. The naturalistic trees, logs and rock formations are made of fiberglass reinforces concrete over a welded rebar frame. They are built to last.

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