“I’m Jeff Peters, the City’s recreation director and we are down here at the Fort Walton Landing with a brand new playground that we are just about to open up to the public.
We’re really excited about it. It’s part of the overall landing renovation project. It was a $250,000 project that was CRA budgeted and we’re just really excited about it. We’ve got a new rubberized safety surface so everyone can access it. And kicking off into the Christmas season, we’re ready to open this thing up and have all these lights turned on the 27th of November, but the playground will be open today!
The old playground we had here was kinda rusted out. It had been here for fifteen plus years, close to 20 years and sometimes the decking and stuff starts rusting here on the water. Some of the salt gets to it. So it’s time to be replaced.
But there’s all kind of activities for all different ages. We’ve got a 2-to-5 year old section of playground equipment, as well as the 5-to-12 year old group, but there’s stuff for every . There’s music makers, noise makers. There’s slides. There’s everything for all different age kids and we’re really excited to watch kids play on it.
We’ve been asked over the years to get some kinda of accessible Rubberized play-base. It’s just that the Rubberized is so expensive. It’s just as much as the playground. We were fortunate enough to be able to budget this out ahead of time using CRA dollars and was able to incorporate the Rubberized surface and the playground equipment all at once.
The next phase coming will be the Boardwalk and replacing the pier, which was damaged in Hurricane Sally, but also a new performance stage which will be down over the water, replacing the old wooden stage down there.
So we’ll be able to host some concerts and kinda centralize the park up to where the concerts are. The next phases would be a splash pad, new restroom areas, a trellis system for shade and everything towards the front of the park and some on-street parking renovations a little bit.
But this is phase one of a few more that are coming and it’s gonna be one of the most premier and enjoyable parks around.
So just to give you a timeline: the new playground is open today which is Monday, November 16th and the next line item in the timeline would be the Christmas tree lighting and downtown lights, which is gonna be at 5:30 PM Sharp on Friday, November 27th, which is black Friday. We’re excited about that.
After that in the timeline is the bidding process. We’re just waiting on permitting with the Core of Engineers and once that is cleared, we hope to start getting the bids out and get started on the rest of this Landing project in early 2021.”