2011-08-12 / Government / Neighborhood

Melrose Park needs shade to cool playground equipment

By Josh Cruse

While the temperature may be 100 degrees, the temperature on a piece of playground equipment can be several degrees warmer, making it virtually untouchable let alone playable. This has been the case at Melrose Park. Patrick Connelly, the director of Parks and Recreation discussed a solution at the Melrose Heights Neighborhood meeting on Monday, August 8.

One of the options Connelly talked about was a Sun Shade, a portable device that provides shade to large playground equipment. It is convenient enough that it can be taken down in the late fall and into the winter when the temperature isn’t as warm.

This device is not a new concept to the Richland/Lexington County area, as Saluda Shoals park uses it for their playground equipment. It is UV protected also. The problem is that Melrose Park would need at least two of these units. Each unit costs $30,000 each. Connelly said there are grants available from places like the American Cancer Society, that would help raise the money. He said he would have more information about the grants at the September Melrose Heights meeting.

In other news, Cultural Arts Coordinator Brenda Oliver spoke about two programs she hopes to bring to the Melrose Heights Neighborhood. The first is called “Arts in the Parks.” This program involves bringing in volunteer artists throughout the year to teach children about the arts. Another, “Explore the Arts,” this is a four week class and unlike the “Arts in the Parks” event, “Explore the Arts” isn’t free. .

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