Chalfont Playground gets new equipment, safety features [slideshow]

Chalfont Playground, 4300 Deerpath Lane,  held its ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday evening.

The nearly $700,000 renovation project was planned and designed by the city’s Parks & Recreation Department and the Department of Public Property.  Councilman Brian O’Neill, R-10th, provided majority funding for the renovations, which the community took part in. Murals highlighting Chalfont Playground activities were designed and painted by children from the neighborhood.

O’Neill said the playground is extremely important to the community.

“The play area is the heart of the playground and the playground is the heart and soul of the community,” he said. “These areas have to be attractive and welcoming to families.”

One of the smallest playgrounds in Philadelphia, the half-acre playground was renovated with new equipment, landscaping and a new spray area, according to a press statement from the Parks Department. The spray area is activated by a push button, which preserves water when the unit is not in use. Chalfont’s new state-of-the-art play equipment includes separate areas for juniors and toddlers. New benches and tables enhance the area, like the new entrances, are handicap accessible. A new fence, pedestrian lights, surveillance cameras and sonic devices were installed for safety, while storm water pipes were replaced to reduce flooding. The basketball courts have been repaved.

Leo Dignam, Parks & Recreation’s first deputy commissioner for programs, said the department will install cameras in all of the city’s rec centers, and sonic devices part of a speaker system will prevent after-hours park loitering; the noise can only be heard by kids and teens.

“Overall it’s making the playground last,” Chalfont resident Carl Ford said. “People feel safe.”

Haniyyah Sharpe is a student reporting for Philadelphia Neighborhoods, the publication of Temple University’s Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.

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