Jackson Township to Upgrade Playground at Woodlane Park

At Monday night’s Jackson Township town council meeting, Greg Powell from Ben Schaefer Recreation presented a comprehensive proposal for a new playground at Woodlane Park.

The current playground at the park is small and dated. Township officials stated the upgrade is the first of many being planned at community parks across town in the near future.

Powell outlined the plan to replace the existing small structure with a more extensive and inclusive playground setup, which includes advanced features tailored to different age groups.

He detailed the components of the proposed playground, which are designed to cater to two main age groups: ages two to five and ages five to twelve. The younger children’s area will have a shaded play structure, crucial for protection against sun exposure. For older children, a new line from Burke, called the Aspire line, will be introduced, featuring towers linked by rope climbers, a design not yet seen in New Jersey.

The proposal also includes three bays of swings with various seat options, including traditional, toddler, and ADA-accessible seats. Additional free-standing pieces like a board rocker and a sensory area with musical instruments are planned to enhance the play experience.

Town officials emphasized the inclusion of safety features, such as playground surfacing to reduce injury risks from falls.

Councilwoman Jennifer Kuhn said she was pleased with the initial plans presented by the vendor and the council shared their concerns about the longevity of the products and materials being used.

“We’ve talked about this for quite a while and I’m glad to finally see this park coming to light,” said Council President Kuhn. “The residents in this neighborhood have been waiting for this much needed upgrade and we’re delivering it.”

The township council discussed the practical aspects of the playground’s maintenance and durability, noting a 100-year warranty on metal parts and a 15-year warranty on plastic components treated with UV protection to prevent degradation from sunlight.

“Since taking office, it has always been my priority to make sure Jackson’s parks and recreational facilities are second to none,” said Mayor Michael Reina.

This long-term durability is crucial for the sustainability of the playground. He pointed out that existing park structures become faded and technology used in today’s plastics will hold their color longer in the sun.

“It was my pleasure working with the mayor, administration, and council to make sure we continue delivering on our promise to make sure we keep moving Jackson forward,” said Councilman Mordechai Burnstein. “We are firmly committed to improving our town’s community parks so children and families will have top quality recreational facilities right in their own neighborhoods.”

The council discussed logistical details, such as the need for ADA-compliant access.

Business Administrator Terence Wall confirmed with the vendor that the project can be completed within 6-9 weeks once construction begins with a schedule to begin construction this fall.

The township announced earlier this year that it will assist the Jackson Township School District in upgrading playgrounds at multiple elementary schools.

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