An adventure-filled, all-abilities themed playground renovation at Lake Poway received unanimous approval at the Feb. 21 Poway City Council meeting. The project, which is expected to be completed in December, will replace the playground next to the Pavilion building.
Community Services Director Audrey Denham said that the goal was to create a safe space where kids can develop social, emotional, and physical skills.
Special Projects Engineer Jeff Beers said that the new playground incorporates activities inspired by the lake, with natural colors that reflect Poway’s largest regional park. Shade sails will cover over half the playground, in addition to natural shade provided by trees, to ensure the playground is enjoyable even during warmer weather.
In the area for younger children, there is a boat that is ADA accessible by wheelchair and a dock. It has play elements to represent the trees surrounding the playground and rocks of Mt. Woodson. It has a snack bar/bait shop made to look like the concession building at the lake, where kids can pretend to purchase snack and fishing tackle.
The play area for older children includes two towers with cork-screw slides, and elements that allow kids to choose different levels of difficulty. There is a log slide, stacked stump steps and a balancing leaf wobble board.
The project budget is approximately $1.4 million. Funding for the playground is through a $208,707 grant from a California Department of Parks and Recreation, and close to $1.2 million from the city’s Park Improvement Fund. The project is expected to begin construction in May; a request for proposals has been posted to the city’s website.
Councilmember Caylin Frank, who has three young children, said that this should be the standard of playgrounds in Poway.
“I’ve been on the council for almost five years, and I think the entire time I’ve been talking about our parks - the need for things like shade, the need for things like all abilities access, variety of ages, incorporating nature, adventure and making more themed and destination parks,” Frank said. “And this checks all those boxes. I could not be more excited.”