Richland’s splash pad, playground set to open

Friday, June 14, 2019 | 12:01 AM


After some delays, the new splash pad and playground at Richland Community Park are set to officially open to the public.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, followed by a few brief remarks from township supervisors and staff and before they turn on the water and let the kids have fun.

“It was an exciting project to work on and a big undertaking for the township,” township manager Dean Bastianini said. “We’re hoping people are going to use it and enjoy it and we wanted to give it a nice kickoff.”

Richland received a $250,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to make improvements to the park in late 2017 to go along with a required township match for a project total of $500,000. The board of supervisors approved the purchase of playground equipment, a shelter, restroom facilities and a splash pad in September 2018.

The pad and new playground were initially scheduled to open in May but the rainy weather led to a delay in the grass and landscaping being completed.

The splash pad includes water features where kids can cool off in the summer and the new playground area near the baseball fields will have an area for children 5-and-under and a separate are for kids 5 to 12 plus an area for swings. The playground uses a poured-in place rubber surface and is recognized as a national demonstration site for PlayOn! youth fitness equipment. It is designed to incorporate the six PlayOn! elements of play essential in promoting physical fitness: swinging, sliding, spinning, balance, brachiating — or swinging by one’s arms — and climbing.

“The design is, I won’t say cutting edge, but the design is unique, and it’s a state-of-the-art playground structure,” Bastianini said. “Once upon a time, playground structures were wooden and installed by volunteers and people have great memories of those, but they’re hard to maintain and sometimes they’re attractive to bees. This is a basically a freestanding play structure that’s unique in its design and I don’t think there are many others like it in the area.”

Another new playground site by the family recreation center has a different look altogether, Bastianini said.

“We didn’t want to make a smaller version of the other playground so this is a different design and looks more rural and rustic,” he said.