Parting is such sweet sorrow. When I first heard the wooden playground was being torn down, I was disheartened. We joined fellow parents to sign petitions and let our voices be heard about concerns with saying good-bye to one of the last if it’s kind.  

Many families and community members have a special connection with the park. Hearing stories of grandparents helping build the park and seeing families names on the paved bricks just shows the love and dedication put into building this park. Even if you weren’t around when it was first built; you can’t help but being disappointed to see the beautiful wooden play ground go. Saying good-bye is definitely going to be a process we all will grieve in our own way. 

Luckily there is light at the end of the tunnel. St. Mary’s County Parks and recreation was awarded a state grant; providing an excellent opportunity to update the playground. After seeing the plans, I’m most certainly getting amped up and many of my fears were relieved. 

First, I want to talk about some of the things that will be included in the new park that we all loved about the old playground. Hearing about these items may ease some concerns. 

  • Shade: All the trees will stay! Keeping the cool shade is a must. 
  • Gate: The playground will remain fenced in for security. Many parents will be happy with this decision. 
  • Wooden look: The main structure will have wooden elements and tall spires in order to keep with the castle/club house look.  There will even be climbing logs as steps to the main structure. 
  • Family Bricks: The new entry way will feature pavers from the old park. This will showcase the families and business from past and present who have made this park a fun place for families through out generations. 
  • Whimsical Play: There will be musical instruments and even stationary equipment to ride on. I was so excited to hear that the unique and multi-sensory pieces would reincorporated. 
  • Seating: Similar stadium style seating will be available for parents and caregivers to sit back and relax at will watching the little ones play. 
  • All Ages: There will be various different sections that will feature activities for kids of all ages. A smaller structure for young children and a tall structure for the older children. 

Now let’s talk about some of the new features that will set this park apart.  

  • Certified: The new playground will be inclusive for children of all abilities with ramps and full accessibility including handicap accessible swings, sidewalk and ramps throughout the park. 
  • Play together: There will be special swings that both adult and kid can swing on together. We’ve enjoyed swings like this before and always wanted one close to home. 
  • Ground: The flooring will be a special soft foam that will divide extra cushioning. 
  • Imaginative Play: The design follows the concept of many of the PG County Parks that are referred to as Adventure Playgrounds which offer excitement at any age or size, with specialized elements to inspire creativity and imaginative play. For an example, there will be a fun hill for climbing with a slide and tunnel to climb through. 

The Joseph P. Wieck playground at Miedzinski Park at the Leonard Hall Recreation Center in Leonardtown, Maryland we be Closed for construction starting Monday July 9, 2018. The rebuild should take a little over a month to be completed. St. Mary’s Count is hopeful to host a grand opening in September 2018.