Berkley council approves purchase of inclusive park equipment for Jaycee Park

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published August 23, 2022


BERKLEY — The Berkley City Council approved the purchase of play equipment and other features for two of its parks at a recent meeting.

The council’s Aug. 8 meeting saw the approval of inclusive play equipment, rubber surfacing and installation at Jaycee Park.

The play equipment will be purchased at a cost not to exceed $241,055.40 and the rubber surfacing and installation costs for the equipment are not to exceed $280,833.28, with an added $14,000 for contingencies.

“What we decided to do at this park was something that we haven’t done at our other playgrounds in our other parks, which is to build a fully inclusive playground,” Parks and Recreation Director Theresa McArleton said. “We have inclusive play elements at all of our other parks, but this one is fully inclusive.”

During the spring, the Parks and Recreation Department had a fundraiser for the purchase of the inclusive play equipment. It raised $61,800, and because the department crossed $50,000, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation donated an additional $50,000.

The features that will be added to Jaycee Park include a ramp structure for accessibility; a soft surface throughout the playground; a ZipKrooz, which is a double-track line with an accessible swing; a We-Go-Round, which is a spinner that children can use with wheelchairs or without; and a Cozy Dome, which is a quiet space for kids who want to take a break from the playground.

“We saw overwhelming support. We raised more than we needed to in order to get that match from the MEDC,” McArleton said. “I think that says a lot. … I think people are going to be really excited about what we built here, and we’re excited to get started with this.”

Mayor Pro Tem Bridget Dean commended the work of McArleton and her department in getting the project off the ground.

“We all know, like, where you put your money, where you put your feet, how you vote and where you put your money is what matters to you, and this park really matters to this community, and so I’m proud of Berkley and everyone that supported this park because it was a long time coming and it’s just really exciting,” she said.

The council also approved fencing at community fields Nos. 2 and 3 at Community Park. The fencing will be purchased for a cost not to exceed $28,863.

City documents stated that the work will see the removal of some existing fencing and replace it with gates. It will provide 6-foot exterior fencing “to shape the ballfields as well as cleaning up fencing and space near the batting tunnel at Community Park.”

“We are looking to do this a little bit later because of the fall season for the youth league,” McArleton said. “We’ll be starting this project working closely with our youth leagues, but starting this project in mid-October when their season is done, but before the weather (turns) so that we’re ready to go in the spring.”