With the playground replacement, the Beverly Hills Parks and Recreation Board wants to make the structure more accessible.

With the playground replacement, the Beverly Hills Parks and Recreation Board wants to make the structure more accessible.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Beverly Hills asks for community input on replacement of the Beverly Park playground

Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 29, 2022


BEVERLY HILLS — The current playground in Beverly Park has been used by the community for about 20 years now, so the Beverly Hills Parks and Recreation Board is looking to replace the structure in 2023.

“It’s getting outdated, and we would like it to make the playground more accessible for everyone,” Village Clerk Kristin Rutkowski said.

Parks and Recreation Board member Janice Hausman said 20 years is usually the lifespan of a playground. The current Beverly Park playground is showing signs of wear as the plastic has become more brittle and cracks have developed.

“Nothing major has come up yet, but we have to start planning before any of the equipment gets dangerous,” Hausman said.

The board also wants to replace the structure because they want to tailor the new playground to the way modern children play.

“In 20 years, how children play and what we know about how children play has changed, so we want to incorporate things that can engage the child more,” Hausman said.

One of the vendors that the village had looked at said the current playground does not have enough options for children outside of climbing up a ladder or steps, then sliding down on a slide.

A goal of the new structure is to add more elements that activate children’s thinking.

“You want to get them (children) to plan a little bit and have to make some choices and decisions,” Hausman said. “I know that sounds funny for play, but that child’s work is play, so you have to give them more options to explore the world and their abilities.”

The Parks and Recreation Board is still in the very early process of this project.

“Once we decide on a vendor, then we will need to finalize the design and the budget, and then it will have to go to the Village Council for approval,” Hausman said.

They are currently working with playground vendors to get budget ideas. At this time, they do not have a budget to release. They do know that they will be using funds from their park millage for this project, village officials said.

Hausman said the board also plans to pursue grant opportunities to add playground improvements and accessibility features.

A survey was recently sent out to the community that asks for insights about what their children like to play on and what they would like to see at the park.

The survey will be open until July 1, and as of press time, about 120 people had responded.

On the survey, people can select from a range of equipment that they would like to see at the park, including toddler swings, swings, bouncy spring toys, a toddler playscape, a zip line and more. There is also room for people to offer their own ideas.

Hausman said the basic footprint of the playground is intact, including the benches, trees and sidewalks — which they do not want to change.

“We are still at least a year out on it, but it’s not something that you do overnight. You have to do a lot of planning for it,” Hausman said.