Chestertown Recreation Committee Chair Jim Bogden conducts meeting on future Wilmer Park playground

The Chestertown Recreation Commission held a meeting Monday evening at Wilmer Park to discuss plans for a future playground there. Families and community members were invited to join the meeting to give their own input for the design. About 50 people attended.

Originally, the playground was designed with input from the recreation commission after a vote by the Chestertown Town Council was passed in July 2020 for the grant application of over $200,000 to fund the project. The proposed location of the playground is inside the loop closest to Quaker Neck Road, according to the town council website. Orange traffic cones were placed to demarcate the footprint of the future park for the attendees.

Recreation Commission President Jim Bogden introduced the meeting’s agenda, which included setting the parameters for the meeting and forming a committee of attendees to lead the design process further.

Ward 2 Councilman Tom Hertz referenced the “controversy over Ajax” when acknowledging the hardships the Chestertown community has endured throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rosie Ramsey Granillo, a member of the commission, welcomed anyone in attendance to write their Wilmer Park Playground “Dos” and “Don’ts” on sticky notes to be placed on their respective pads of paper in front of the crowd. This technique would “make sure everyone can get their piece on the pad,” Granillo said.

Even the children in attendance were able to add their piece. A craft table was set up at the meeting covered with large sheets of paper and markers, with a sign “Draw Your Dream Playground” in bubble letters written in the center. The children drew swing sets, spinning seats, tall rock walls, animal sculptures, slides, and even a roller coaster.

The parents had many of their own ideas too, as the “Dos” section was overflowing with suggestions. The most popular requests were also a swing set (not included in the original design), areas with shade, baby swings, a zip line, and toddler to tween options to make the space as versatile as possible. There was also a suggestion to have restrooms.

The “Don’ts” section of the board included pushing the recreation commission to fit regular maintenance into the budget for the space.

A small committee was formed at the meeting to take on the requests, hopes, and dreams from those in attendance and make them a reality within the playground’s design. Any community member willing to dedicate the time can join this group by contacting the Recreation Commission or its chair, Jim Bogden or on Facebook.