Our Own Park

Yet another Crozet-area park has no swings. Nor anyone playing there. So far I'm 0-for-2 in trying to find a playground to take William during his second daily activity time (11:30am to 1pm).

I'm disappointed, since Greenleaf Park in Charlottesville was always quite busy, and they had swings, so William had plenty to do out there. But I don't want to have to drive in to Charlottesville every day.

The playground at Mint Springs is pretty much just like the one at Claudius Crozet Park. A structure to climb on, some tic-tac-toe thing, a slide, monkey bars. But no swings, so nothing really of interest to a 4-month old baby. Even if there were other kids playing, that would interest William, he likes looking at other kids.

Since the playground was a bust, I tried to walk some of the trails at Mint Springs with William in his travel stroller. No go. The trails were too rough, too many tree roots to go over. So while I managed to kill an hour and use up his activity time, it wasn't particularly fun.

If there's not going to be anyone else at the playgrounds here (and Crozet is a small enough town, it doesn't really surprise me that there's not a crowd at the park, especially during the day), then we might as well put in a playground of our own right here at home. If we have to set up a play date to see another child in the park, there is no reason to go to the park, we'll just invite someone over here. It would have been nice to use the park to meet new kids in the neighborhood.

I've been thinking about the location, and I'm leaning towards putting our playground near a big cedar tree that is currently in the side field. This will be the front yard when I get done with remodeling the house, but with the topography the way it is, it won't really appear to be in the front yard. Besides, I'm going to surround it with deciduous trees so it's well-shaded. None of the other playgrounds around here are in the shade, they are in full sun. Not good.

We'll have swings, and a slide, and a sandbox, and monkey bars at a minimum. Then whatever else they put in those kits.

And I can go ahead and put in some trails through the woods here. At least here, I can make them smooth enough for a stroller by chopping out any protruding roots or just making the path go around them. I need to start making some inquiries to find someone qualified to build a dam and a pond on our property near the stream, our permit is only good until January 2011. And when we have our shelter built back there, it will be even better than the park picnic shelters since we'll have it screened to keep out the bugs, and winter-proofed.

Terry has the equipment he should be able to grade the land for the playground right away. I will do some planning so I can give him the specs, and hopefully we can get that installed before it's time to plant trees in the fall, it would be nice if some were at least partly established by next summer.