LANCASTER – Excited squeals rang through the air as dozens of youngsters took turns on tube slides, scaled the climbing wall, and crammed into the mega tower.
Playtime capped off a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning to signal the re-opening of El Dorado City Park’s playground, which now boasts the largest outdoor public playground set and mega tower in the Antelope Valley.
“I think the park is cool!” said 7-year-old Brea.
“I like the big slide, it looks like a dragon,” said 3-year-old Roberto Angel.
“It makes you want to just stay around longer,” said Cindy Kassens, who nearly pushed her 1-year-old granddaughter Ashlyn to sleep on the new infant swings.
The renovated playground now features two distinct new playground sets; one for children ages 3 to 5, and the other for ages 6 to 12. The larger set boasts a mega tower, four tube slides, and a climbing wall. And the former sand area now features specially engineered ground covering, allowing for 100% wheelchair access to any part of the lower levels of the playground equipment.
In addition to the new playground sets, the exercise path on the north end of the park has also been renovated, and 12 cardio stations have been installed.
“I was over there the other day, and I assure you, you can relinquish your gym membership,” said Ronda Perez, Director of Parks, Recreation and Arts for Lancaster. “You can do it all over at the park course now, there’s all kinds of equipment over there.”
The Lancaster Housing Department in cooperation with the Parks, Recreation and Arts department funded the two new playground structures and workout stations using a federally funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
“The project represents teamwork between two departments to attain their goals, achieve the city’s vision, and meet the desires of the citizens of Lancaster,” said Elizabeth Brubaker, Director of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization. “The El Dorado neighborhood park improvements represent one component of neighborhood revitalization by addressing health issues, social issues, and the elimination of blight through providing exercise equipment, ADA compliant turf, and pedestrian access to the park for the participants of the El Dorado Neighborhood Impact home, as well as the neighborhood residents.”
Best of all, the improvements represent fun and entertainment for the whole family, said City Manager Mark Bozigian.
“We do this so that you’ll come here, make this your park and have a great time,” Bozigian said. “You’ll get exercise, but you’ll spend time with family and friends, and those are the things you’re going to remember for the rest of your life.”
Located at 44501 5th Street East (adjacent to El Dorado Elementary School), Lancaster’s El Dorado Park is open daily and features a number of amenities, including a preschool room, tennis court, softball field, playground, picnic tables and restrooms.
Built in 1962, El Dorado is one of three parks that were transferred to the city of Lancaster by the county of Los Angeles in 1977 and one of 11 parks in the city of Lancaster.