Thursday, June 10, 2021

Out of this world

Metroparks planning new space-themed playground

An artist rendering of plans for the new $1.3 million space
 themed playground at Lower Huron Metropark.
Lower Huron Metropark will join the 'space race' this year with the opening of a unique new $1.3 million playground. 

Huron-Clinton Metroparks is moving forward on plans to develop the space-themed playground at Lower Huron Metropark following multiple community surveys and stakeholder input. Officials said construction at the park, located on Huron River Drive in Belleville, is expected to begin this summer and wrap up with a grand opening by the end of the year. 

"The Metroparks always strive to meet community needs and provide area residents and visitors with first-rate outdoor recreation spaces and activities," said Metroparks Director Amy McMillan. "We couldn't be more appreciative of the feedback and ideas received, and are excited to launch this unique play experience to help spark imaginations and serve as a destination playground."

McMillan said the design is a combination of creativity, accessibility, and offering something that did not already exist in the general vicinity. Planning for the new play space began this past November. Online surveys and stakeholder conversations took place with numerous individuals and organizations like the Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO) and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. From there, the Woods Creek area within the park was selected due to its visibility from the main park road, abundant parking and general openness, she said. 

The playground is one of many efforts that the Metroparks are making to improve recreational opportunities across the 13 parks in the system, she added. Key features include a geometric playscape designed to reflect the solar system and a new Hedra tower slide, believed to be the first of its kind in Michigan. Playground consultant, Penchura, along with Michigan Recreational Construction, Inc., will lead the construction, installation and development officials said in a prepared statement. 

The new playground is set to break ground this summer and be completed by the end of 2021. To learn more, view site renderings and stay up to date with project developments, visit www.metroparks. com/projects.