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Junior League gets down to work on Playfront Park in April, May

Playfront Park will be rebuilt this spring at Bayfront Festival Park, the Junior League of Duluth and the city of Duluth announced Tuesday. Weather permitting, the existing wooden playground structure will be dismantled sometime in April and a ne...

Playfront Park
The new playground will be assembled May 21-23 and will be dedicated June 4. (2008 file / News Tribune)

Playfront Park will be rebuilt this spring at Bayfront Festival Park, the Junior League of Duluth and the city of Duluth announced Tuesday.

Weather permitting, the existing wooden playground structure will be dismantled sometime in April and a new playground built on the same spot May 21-24.

The new playground will be dedicated June 4. People interested in volunteering to help build the new park can send their names and contact information to jlduluth.website@gmail.com .

City spokeswoman Amy Norris said the wood from the existing playground will be recycled or reused. Some lumber will be used on city trails, while some lumber and equipment will be sold.

The new playground will be built largely from recycled materials in colors similar to the red and blue of the nearby Great Lakes Aquarium. It is designed to promote upper-body strength and provide an aerobic workout for kids. It will be divided into separate areas: a twisting landscape of nets, monkey bars and rope bridges; a shade structure for resting and picnicking; an area of the park designed for younger children; and swing sets and tire swings.

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The Junior League has made a deposit with Landscape Structure Inc. in Delano, Minn., for new playground equipment. The league has raised about $150,000 for the project, but needs an additional $20,000 to build a shade structure in the center of the park.

Donations can be made online at www.juniorleagueduluth.org or by sending a check payable to the Junior League of Duluth at 2400 E. Superior St., Suite 2, Duluth, MN 55812.

The Junior League created Playfront Park in 1989. Volunteers refurbished the playground in 2002 and 2003. The league decided a few years ago to replace the aging wooden playground.

The Junior League originally proposed building the new playground near the Lakewalk, next to the Canal Park Lodge. The city, however, denied its request. In June 2008, the league decided that the new playground would be at Bayfront Park. The league originally had hoped to build the new playground by last summer, but delayed the project in May to avoid construction hazards of the DECC expansion and to allow more time to raise needed money.

Related Topics: CANAL PARKFAMILY
Steve Kuchera is a retired Duluth News Tribune photographer.
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