The Uxbridge Cosmos
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Uxbridge loves young people. More to the point, Uxbridge’s service clubs love young people. Look at the Rotary Skate Park and the Optimist Pump Park out at the Fields of Uxbridge. Despite - or in spite of - COVID-19, those two places have been hopping busy almost every nice day this summer. We’ve seen toddlers on scooters there, and we’ve seen older teens weave their skateboards in and out of the smaller kids, showing off their moves. Although we can’t profess to having spent time at either park (not owning either a skateboard or a BMX bike - older bones have something to do with it, too...), we drive by the spot often, and a smile always comes when we see so many kids outside, enjoying something that the town built together.
Good news - we’re getting the opportunity to do it again! The main play structure in Elgin Park is approaching its expiry date, so to speak, and the Uxbridge Lions Club is taking on the installation of a new structure. The new natural playground will be what they are calling “universal” - it will be accessible for not only children of all abilities, but for those accompanying them, too. Read: for the many grandparents who are often the ones taking their grandkids to the park. Sally Kotsopoulos is working with the Lions Club on the project, and as she readily pointed out to us - not too many older folks are keen to slide down the fire pole once they’ve chased their young charge up the structure!
Normally the Lions would have an open, public meeting to invite input from the community on what people would like to see and have in their playground. In our COVID world, however, they’re asking for anyone and everyone to write or draw their ideas and send them to the Lions Club. That’s why we’ve devoted our back page to their appeal - we know how much this town loves kids, and how much kids need a playground like the one the Lions are envisioning. Kotsopoulos says that a new playground can encourage not only mobility exploration, but sensory exploration as well. There will still be swings, but they’ll include sculpted swings for youngsters who may use a wheelchair or other mobility device. Nature and natural building materials will be incorporated, and children of all abilities will be able to play alongside one another.
But this is the big picture - the Lions want YOUR picture. … Have the youngster in your life dictate a playground wish list to you. Cut pictures out of magazines and paste them onto the page - whatever the best way is to pass along the concept, make it happen. Then send it to the Uxbridge Lions Club (mail or email to firstname.lastname@example.org). They’ll be taking every submission into consideration when they get to planning how this new structure will look. Uxbridge loves kids. We can’t wait to see how this turns out.