Carmel Parks Department Wins Second Award for New Playground in Central Park
On Tuesday, February 28, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (CCPR) was awarded the 2017 Great Lakes Park, Facility and Recreation Program Award from Great Lakes Park Training Institute (GLPTI) for its Central Park West Commons Playground. This is the second award for the Central Park West Commons Playground since it opened to the public in October 2016. Earlier this year, the department also received the Indiana Park and Recreation Association Exceptional Park Design Award.
Awarded by GLPTI, one of the nation’s oldest career development programs for park and recreation professionals, this award is given annually to recognize parks, facilities, and programs that represent the cutting edge of the park and recreation profession in the United States.
The playground at West Commons has a futuristic design and offers children more than 25,000 square feet of play space. The structure is nestled into the side of a hill and incorporates universal design principles to encourage inclusion. Children using wheelchairs have access to lower level amenities as well as upper-level features with the use of ramps. The playground also offers three cave-like areas to provide respite for children who need quieter spaces during play.
“It’s been a pleasure getting to see the community enjoy all that our newest playground has to offer,” said Mark Westermeier, Parks Director for CCPR. “These awards are a true testament to the hard work put into West Commons by our many contractors, staff and partners.”
Adjacent to the playground is a splash pad imitating the nature that surrounds it. Spray features and geysers resemble cattails, flowers and animals. The splash pad is designed to provide relief from the heat and continues CCPR’s commitment to use environmentally friendly water management.
In addition to the play space in the park, West Commons also offers picnic shelters, restrooms, outdoor classroom space, open meadow, lagoon and boardwalk.
About Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation
Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (CCPR) holds the Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) for parks serving populations of 75,001 to 150,000. As an accredited agency, the department serves the recreation, fitness, and nature needs of the community, manages and develops existing spaces and resources and creates a sustainable future for parks and recreation programs through a financially viable and environmentally conscious parks system. CCPR manages and maintains more than 500 park acres and numerous recreation facilities, including the Monon Community Center and The Waterpark. In addition, CCPR has partnered with Carmel Clay Schools to establish Extended School Enrichment (ESE), a before and after-school care program for K-6 students located at all eleven Carmel elementary schools. The Summer Camp Series is a component of ESE that offers 12 different summer camps accommodating children ages 5-15. For more information, visit carmelclayparks.com.