The county will move forward with plans to replace existing playground equipment at Broadneck Park with newer, safer equipment, following a fundraising movement led by a Broadneck mom.
The Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks has announced plans to renovate the park's playground with $35,000 in funds, allocated to Broadneck Park this budget year. The new playground could be open as early as spring 2013.
The Friends of Broadneck Park (FBP) also led a fundraising campaign throughout this year for new playground equipment, not only to ensure it was safe, but also to expand the available equipment to younger children. So far they have raised $10,000.
Kara McGuirk-Allison, a mother from Broadneck, has headed the effort under the umbrella of Broadneck Area Youth Sports (BAYS), hosting a series of fundraisers this year, including the Broadneck Kite Festival in April. She said she was excited to see this finally coming together, but parents should know that changes are in store.
"While $35,000 is a lot of money, because the playground has a lot of work to do, it's not going to get us very far," McGuirk-Allison said. "The new structure that's coming might actually be smaller than what's there now, but it will be newer and safer."
The original park playground was built in 1990, and McGuirk-Allison said most playground equipment lasts 15 years. While Broadneck's equipment was in relatively good condition, park officials agreed a replacement would be beneficial.
McGuirk-Allison's interest in raising money for the playground started when one of the play bridges fell out. For a few weeks, plywood and locks covered the open entrance. Later, it was replaced. But for McGuirk-Allison, it was just the first step.
The county's $35,000 will be spent taking down existing equipment, leveling the site, widening its footprint and making it ADA compliant, then purchasing equipment suitable for kids 5-12 years old.
The FBP money will be spent through BAYS for equipment for children 2-5 years old. But they're asking the public for guidance on what they should purchase.
Though the county has already agreed to replacing equipment, McGuirk-Allison said she wants to grow the FBP's side of the contribution between now and then. She is beginning another wave of grant applications and hoping to get the community and businesses more involved. With more money, they could get more, better equipment for younger children, she said.