CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- A children's play area, which has been dubbed "Super Park," and features equipment that allows children of all abilities to use the play place, was officially opened here Nov. 30.
Due to inclement weather, the ceremony was moved into the Super Gym, where about 40 children from the Child Development Center's Strong Beginnings classes recited the Pledge of Allegiance and then sang "God Bless America," before participating in the ribbon cutting.
The "inclusive design" of the equipment makes it easier for all children to use the equipment and, according to officials, was the primary reason the contract was awarded to Playworld Systems. This company has built similar playgrounds at Fort Gordon, Ga., Fort Sill, Okla., Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and Yokota Air Base, Japan.
The park, which was built, essentially, with money the garrison was awarded during the 2009 Army Communities of Excellence program, is located adjacent to the Super Gym parking garage and cost roughly $493,000. ACOE is a program for the total Army which focuses on improvements in the environment, in services and facilities, improving working and living conditions, renewing pride and developing a sense of accomplishment in every member of the community.
The U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Directorate of Public Works' Master Planning Division created the Super Park concept in conjunction with the Directorate of Family, Morale, and Welfare.
"It was extremely challenging to find a location not affected by the ongoing transformation," said Dennis Polaski, director of DPW. "This opportunity became available when it was determined that a future satellite post office, originally sited in the location, would not fit and had to be relocated. With more than 85 percent of the garrison families residing off-post, this new park is a significant quality of life improvement at Camp Humphreys."
Polaski credits Suzanne James, director of the Camp Humphrey Army Community Services, with "being responsible for bringing this vision and concept to reality."
Jayme Stelker, a Camp Humphreys Family member and the mother of three, said "The new park is awesome. Thanks."
The playground equipment is divided into play areas for ages 2-5 and then ages 5-12. Among other things, it provides accessible routes into, around and within the play space, makes all ground-level activities accessible and is intended to create an identical or equivalent play experience for every child.
Also included are two pavilions, playground equipment, picnic tables and benches. In the spring, grills will be added. The pavilions can be reserved and rented through FMWR's Outdoor Recreation, located in Bldg. S-1044, which is behind the Super Gym parking garage. The number to call is 753-3013.