A source of controversy in the community recently has been the renovation of the Pennsbury playground.
The well-loved swings have now been replaced by flashier, more dangerous equipment. The new equipment includes a spinning disc where kids are able to sit and spin as fast as they want. There is a large cube with hand-holds on the sides, similar to those on a climbing wall. Lastly, there is a structure that has ropes intertwined with each other, like a climbing net, where kids are able to climb across as they please. Though the new equipment provides for better aesthetics, some question whether the cool new look is worth the risk.
During recess it is evident the joy that the equipment brings to the kids that use it, but there also seems to be agreement among the kids about the dangers that the new equipment presents. “It is pretty awesome, but can be dangerous. I fell off of the blue thing the other day” said Julia ’20 referring to the cube structure. This was the common response from the fifth graders, who all agreed that while the equipment was fun to play on, the two new structures are dangerous entities on the playground. The danger is not the only problem that the new equipment faces. The kids find that climbing on some of the equipment is very difficult, especially the cube structure, which some kids even describe as being impossible to climb. “I really like, the like, climbing net. It is really hard though, because once you do one set, you had to do another and it’s difficult.” said Ben Goldberg ’23.
The interesting thing is that this playground is shared between many grades. It would seem only fair to make the equipment accessible to both the second and fifth graders, yet the second graders seem to have the disadvantage being smaller and generally weaker. The first graders do not visit this playground at all, most likely due to the difficulty and danger that would only be increased by so many 7-year-olds climbing around on the equipment. The adults can easily see these structures as accidents waiting to happen, but the kids seem pleased by the latest additions. When asked about the updated playground, Lydia Victor ’23 summed up what all of the other kids were trying to say. “It’s fun and I like it.”
To find out more about the design of the playground, click here.