Residents kid stuff in, tennis court out

Plans for new playground equipment could slice court space for tennis players on the St. Paul campus.
The playground equipment in College Park on Raymond Avenue needs to be replaced, and after a 10-year effort to secure funds, residents in the surrounding St. Anthony Park have the money to do so.
The question is where.
A former plan to place the equipment on a park hill was shot down, so a neighborhood committee charged with locating the new swing sets, slides and see-saws found available space where one of the park’s two tennis courts now sits.
Anyone interested in offering input to the project is urged to attend a meeting tomorrow near the park to discuss the new playground plans.
Safety regulations require that playground equipment be surrounded by more space than the current location provides. Also, playgrounds must provide a foot of compressed sand to cushion any falls. However, digging an area for the sand would harm the oak trees surrounding the current equipment.
The tennis courts, which are used by University students and other neighbors, also need to be rebuilt. But there are 200 such courts in St. Paul, and the College Park courts are not on the horizon for repaving, said Carol Madison, an organizer with the St. Anthony Community Council.
The new playground equipment will include a digger, monkey bars and a fairy castle, an item designed for 1- to 2-year-olds.
“One of the problems with our current playground is that there isn’t really any safe equipment for small children, and they’re over there a lot,” said Mary Franklin, a member of the St. Anthony Community Council who has worked extensively on the playground project for years.
The committee will present the plans to the neighborhood Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to noon at St. Matthew’s Church, across from the park.

Max Rust welcomes comments at [email protected]