Fully equipped with backpacks, coloring books and colored pencils, dozens of elementary school students packed the Coral Reef Elementary School cafeteria Wednesday afternoon for very serious business — their favorite playground.
Village Councilwoman Karyn Cunningham held the “kids town hall,” hoping to get feedback from Coral Reef Playground’s biggest fans.
“Palmetto Bay is renowned for the beauty and quality of its parks and green spaces, enjoyed by all our residents year-round. However, we can always improve upon our efforts. In that spirit, I felt who better to contribute to this dialogue than the folks who use our parks and its programs the most — our young residents,” Cunningham said. “Young people bring new ideas and fresh perspectives and approaches on how we can improve on one of our community’s signature assets, our wonderful parks.”
During the town hall meeting, kids were taken outside with their parents and given clipboards. They wrote three things they liked about the playground, and three things they thought needed work.
Some suggestions include: more swings, make an obstacle course, add a zip line; add water fountains and more activities for older kids.
“Think of the big kids, we like playgrounds too,” one student wrote.
Some assets they said they love: the rubber flooring, the see-saw, the spinning cups and slides.
Then the children were given a presentation on possible playground equipment and were asked to rate their three top picks. Among some choices were LED swings, a carousel and miniature rock climbing.
About two months ago, the Palmetto Bay Village Council voted to have the Coral Reef playground dedicated to 7-year-old Bridget Allison Pier, the daughter of Village Clerk Meighan Pier Alexander. Bridget died unexpectedly in 2011.
When the new playground equipment gets installed, the park’s signage will be replaced. The Village has more than $200,000 allocated for the park in this year’s budget. The council will determine how much of the funds will be used.