Three St. Louis area parks will get Unlimited Play playgrounds in 2014, similar to Discovery Playground in St. Charles (pictured here).
Update March 14, 2014 --Unlimited Play has pushed back the opening of its playgrounds at Willmore Park and O'Fallon Park due to weather. The playground in Willmore Park is scheduled to open in mid-July. The playground at O'Fallon Park is scheduled to open in June. All but $40,000 has been raised for these playgrounds.
The St. Louis metro area will be getting three new Unlimited Play playgrounds in 2014, according to Natalie Blakemore, executive director of Unlimited Play.
Two fully accessible playgrounds will be installed in the city of St. Louis and a third will be located in Herculaneum.
Willmore Park near the intersection of Hampton and Jamieson avenues in South St. Louis City will be the site of a hot air balloon and aviation-themed playground. O'Fallon Park near the intersection of West Florissant and Harris avenues in North St. Louis City will be getting a playground with an aviation theme. So far Unlimited Play has raised $800,000 for the two playgrounds that will cost $1.1 million to build. A $600,000 donation was made by the St. Louis office for Developmental Disability Resources and another $200,000 has been contributed by the City of St. Louis. Blakemore hopes these two playgrounds will open in the spring.
A third playground is being planned for Herculaneum. "This playground has an incredible volcano design," Blakemore said. "Nothing like this has been seen in the U.S. yet."So far $300,000 has been raised for the $850,000 playground. Blakemore hopes they will be able to open this playground in the fall; however that date is dependent on fundraising, she said. Unlimited Play playgrounds are known for being fully accessible for children with disabilities, and the playgrounds' design facilitates side-by-side play with able-bodied peers. Typical playground equipment includes saucer swings, ADA-compliant swings, spraygrounds, transfer stations and wheel-chair accessible ramps, stainless steel slides and roller slides, state-of-the-art surfacing, and multisensory play areas.
In addition to these three playgrounds, Unlimited Play is building playgrounds in Breese, Ill., Independence, Mo., and St. Joseph, Mo. Their website also lists a potential playground project in Cottleville.
Four Unlimited Play playgrounds are open in the St. Louis area: Zachary's Playground in Lake Saint Louis, Brendan's Playground in O'Fallon, Discovery Playground in St. Charles and Tree Top Playground in Clayton.