Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for the Newly Remodeled Arbolado Park in Walnut Creek

February 18, 2014 22:20 pm · 11 comments

The newly remodeled Arbolado Park is now open!

Today, Walnut Creek city leaders unveiled a completely remodeled playground at Arbolado Park, located at the intersection of Arbolado and Doncaster.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at 2pm, with students from nearby Walnut Acres Elementary School.

The sprawling, 26-acre park is now equipped with a play area that complies with the latest state safety standards and the Americans with Disabilities Act, city officials said.

The park’s 22-year-old play structure was replaced and outfitted with new shade-providing features, a sand zone, slides and other equipment.

Two playgrounds at the city’s Larkey and Walden parks are also scheduled to reopen this week after remodeling.

City officials said developer fees paid for the revamping of the playgrounds. In 2012, the City Council approved a plan to use $500,000 in developer revenue to make all city parks complaint with the ADA and state safety standards.

Big thanks to Louisa for the pictures!

1 MommaToTwo February 18, 2014 at 10:25 PM

We cant wait to try it out !

2 big hairy knuckle dragger February 19, 2014 at 6:12 AM

These modern play grounds are really cool in a fantasy of plastic Barbie’s Dream House kind of way, but an important element has been legislated out of them – Danger. Yes I said it, playgrounds need an element of danger. In the old days we developed our large motor skills on slides that made you go fast, merry-go-rounds that we went flying of, climbing structures that made you respect gravity, and a strange device only seen today in antique children’s books, the see saw.

Yesterday’s playgrounds were outdoor gymnasiums where an amount of physical peril was excepted in order to simulate the cliffs, boulders, trees, and ditches that a little simian would have to navigate out in the real, chaotic, dangerous world. You also learn fear, and to be aware of your physical limitations, and how increase you abilities. The fear of falling is an important component of learning to climb.

And another thing, unlike the old playgrounds that would probably be the only thing still standing after a hurricane or atom bomb, these new playgrounds are delicate money holes. There are highly susceptible to vandalism, or just breaking from normal use. They are constructed of proprietary components, you don’t just send out a welder to fix them. They are often covered with yellow caution tape, ironically being ‘dangerous’ if not in perfect condition. They seem to have a very short shelf life, but there is always a company waiting in the wings to build another plastic monstrosity for the price of a small house.

3 WC February 19, 2014 at 7:24 AM

Yep, I remember those type playgrounds. The swing sets were industrial and awesome. Very high. But not as many lawyers and helicopter parents existed in those days…

4 Aimless February 19, 2014 at 8:07 AM

As a mom of 3, normally I roll my eyes at all the “in my day we had no car seats! Or pool fences! And we loved it!” comments, as generally I think safety is a good thing. However I have to agree with @knuckle dragger – playgrounds these days seem to have been designed by insurance actuaries instead of people who understand how children play. The result is that, after about age 5 or so, spending the day at the local playground is no longer an option as the kids get bored after 5 minutes. There’s no flying down a big curvy slide, no breathlessly dangling from monkey bars high above the ground, and you already mentioned my pet peeve, the seesaw – today’s seesaws are not incline plans but rather a plastic board with a spring in the center, so with two people you can . . . jiggle around a little. Whee.

And don’t bother going to a different playground, since the equipment at each one is a variation on the same these, seemingly built by the same plastic company.

Sadly, Arbolado park was one of the few decent ones in the area with some different and unusual structures, but I assume those are gone now.

5 Richardsfamily February 19, 2014 at 10:45 AM

is Claycord covering Walnut Creek now? Gotta friend that lives there and would love if it did..

6 Durwood February 19, 2014 at 12:21 PM

I grew up on Colby court across from this park. Back then it was a walnut orchard. We’d play in that field, play in the creek catching frogs and crawdads, climb down into the large underground drainage sewer (built a fort down there), wander up to the Boundary Oaks golf course and run amok there.

Also played a lot in the rock quarry with all its rusted metal, scorpions, and bluebelly lizard glory. I remember the police shooting range and the chalk caves above the golf course. There was even a “haunted house” on a hill by a big oak tree that is no longer there.

Up Arbolado was a ranch with a pond we used to catch bluegills and feed ducks.Gone.

All of that is gone now (except the gold course), replaced by a sanitized park. Seems like it was more fun with a lot more to do back then!

7 Claycord has always February 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM

covered WC and PHill and Martinez.

8 Z-Man February 19, 2014 at 1:17 PM

@richardsfamily. Read about it:

http://claycord.com/about-claycord/

9 Richardsfamily February 19, 2014 at 1:32 PM

No “Claycord has always” been a reader from the very start and WC was always “extra”. Hence the name.

10 Katherine February 19, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Agreeing with knuckle dragger and aimless here. Arbolado and the “big kid” section of Larkey Park were the last two real playgrounds left in my area, and my kids loved playing there. The big metal slides were a blast and yes, metal gets hot in the summer but you LEARN to not touch metal that’s been baking in the sun all day. It also seems like such a waste to spend money replacing perfectly fine play structures when my son’s school (MDUSD) is constantly begging parents for funds. Seems priorities are a wee bit off these days…

11 old concord February 20, 2014 at 12:10 PM

My kids played a lot there . Nice to see a facelift .

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