Quinnville Park gets major upgrade

Quinnville Park gets major upgrade

LINCOLN - Residents will no longer be able to call Quinnville Park "the forgotten park," the town's Parks and Recreation Department director said last week, after a two-year overhaul has replaced and updated equipment that has been there for more than 40 years.

The recreation area can get overlooked because there is no associated school nearby, explained Director Paul Prachniak.

"But I didn't forget," he said.

Upgrades made over the past two years, with $30,000 from the 2013 Financial Town Meeting, have included first a new basketball court and backboards, and then a new play structure, merry-go-round, benches, safety surfacing and landscaping. Work was completed with help from the town Highway Division, Public Works and Parks and Recreation maintenance crew.

The court, designed by the town's Engineering Department, has all three-point arcs for high school, collegiate and NBA levels, he said, for kids to challenge themselves.

"It's just a chance to go out there and play and make believe," Prachniak said.

The rest of the park needed upgrading from simple overuse and lack of color, he said, calling some equipment "archaic," like a heavy, metal see-saw.

But the replacement of the merry-go-round held a special place in the hearts of the Parks and Recreation workers who installed it. A former employee, the late Joe Taylor, was on the crew that removed it due to safety concerns before he died in 2011 at age 43.

Taylor always talked about taking his kids to the park and playing on the merry-go-round, Prachniak said, and he would always offer to give it a new coat of paint.

So instead of playground installers bringing the new one on site, Prachniak said the Parks and Recreation crew did it themselves, "taking Joe for a spin" and reflecting.

"He was dearly loved by the whole community," Prachniak said.

The new ride is joined by an 8-foot-tall slide, as well as a 60-by-32-foot multi-station play structure that has half a dozen stations for different activities, including two climbing structures, a curved slide and swinging balance pods. Prachiak said he chose a jungle gym that was more narrow than square to keep as much open space as possible.

There are also eight swings, including two for babies and toddlers, and one that is ADA-compliant.

A few trees were also removed, but the park is still shady, he said.

"It's a good thing for the public. It's a simple social setting," he said. "There's no score, there's no expectations."

Quinnville resident and Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Kevin Bryson congratulated the town on the work, noting that more children seem to be using the playground lately.

"It was a nice overall job," Bryson said. "It was a long time coming. I'm glad to see it done."

To complete the project, new grass has been planted, and up until last week, tape was up to keep people out while it grew.

But when the tape started coming down in certain spots, Prachniak said he went and finished the job.

After all, he said, "Worn out grass is a good sign on a playground."