Dad Clark playground reopens after renovation

Updated facility has new equipment, shade and surfacing

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A Highlands Ranch playground has reopened after a renovation was completed adding updated equipment, shade and fully accessible surfacing.

Construction on Dad Clark Park, located across from Heritage Elementary School, began in September and ended in December.

The old playground, which was wooden, had lasted about 18 years, said Ken Standen, the metro district's construction and facilities maintenance manager.

“You can usually get 15 to 20 years out of a playground,” Standen said.

The playground now has more slides, more climbing equipment and more color. Standen's team also added sensory panels, which act like a piano, wind chimes and a drum, he said.

The area around the jungle gym has also been changed from wood chips to a rubber-like surface to make the playground fully accessible.

The metro district also decided to create more shading after hearing from neighbors in a community meeting in April.

“They get really excited when you include the neighborhood,” Standen said.

The project cost about $250,000, Standen said.

The community park is named after Rufus Clark, one of the area's original homesteaders, said Courtney Kuhlen, the metro district's community relations coordinator. Clark became known as the “Potato King” after an abundant harvest of potatoes around 1859.

The park also provides access to trails, a dog park and a community garden.

“The neighbors are excited to get an updated playground,” Standen said. “It looks great. We are really pleased.”

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