New playground equipment installed at Deer Run Park

The youngest visitors to Deer Run Park now have two new areas to explore.

Two new playground sets were on track to be completed by Saturday. The larger unit — which opened today — has two levels with four new slides and is for children ages 5 to 12.

A smaller unit, for children ages 2 to 5, includes slides and other activities. It was not quite done as of Thursday afternoon but park staff said it should be by the time of Saturday’s Easter egg hunt.

The monkey bars, wooden plank teeter-totter, a set of climbing bars and a wood-and-plastic play set for small children were removed to make room for the additions.

The large orange curly slide has been temporarily removed, but there are plans to place it in a new location at the park, said Brown County Parks and Recreation Director Mark Shields.

The last time Deer Run had any new play equipment installed was 2012, when the merry-go-round and two sandbox diggers were put in place, Shields said. The wooden play pieces were installed in 1985.

Funding for the new play areas came from parks and recreation’s budget, a $6,000 grant from Verizon retailer TCC, and money from timbering on land owned by parks and recreation near the overlook on State Road 135 North, Shields said.

He estimated the new pieces cost $80,000 to $90,000, including excavation, installation and additional pea gravel.

Shields said the elementary and intermediate schools have playgrounds, but Deer Run Park is in a more central location and is more easily accessible to the public.

“I’m excited,” Shields said. “It’s something I think the community needed for a long time.”

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.