New playground installed at Freeland Park

A highly anticipated project to replace aging playground equipment was recently completed.

A highly anticipated project to replace aging playground equipment in Freeland Park was recently completed, just in time for spring.

Island County Parks Superintendent Jan van Muyden said children are already enjoying playing on the new structure at the park bordering Holmes Harbor. The new equipment was installed just last week.

An official opening ceremony is slated for 3:30 p.m. this Friday, March 24. Van Muyden plans to be available at Freeland Park with refreshments to answer any questions that people might have.

In 2022, Island County commissioners approved an award of $226,000 for the project, which was intended to cover the total cost. Since then, van Muyden said, the price of the replacement has increased to approximately $240,000. The cost of materials has risen significantly, and even though the commissioners funded the project last year, it could not get built until this year because of supply chain issues.

Van Muyden said the new playground equipment is comprehensive and accessible to kids of all abilities. Swings, slides and spinners are a few of the different features.

“It is designed to be accommodating to all ages, up to a point obviously,” he said. “It’s designed to challenge a young person’s senses. There are puzzles, there are bongos.”

The playground is built on a surface of engineered wood fiber, which is a cushioning material that with its soft edges, takes the possibility of a splinter away. The structure itself is made out of steel and durable plastic resistant to UV light.

“Playgrounds have come a long way,” van Muyden said.

The replacement has been in the works since 2020, but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new playground replaces an old structure that was built in 1994.