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The Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA) is the collective community voice for addressing neighborhood issues such as zoning, security, beautification, traffic, metropolitan services, and environment.

SPNA members meet on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Senior Renaissance Center of Cohn Adult Learning Center at 4805 Park Avenue.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Elmington Park playground being replaced

City Paper reporter Bill Harless explains that plans to demolish and replace the playground at Elmington Park a few blocks from Murphy Road have upset some nearby residents:
The Metro Parks Department is spending roughly $3.2 million to demolish old city playgrounds and replace them with new playgrounds compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Since 2003, the department has demolished and replaced 37 park playgrounds, and it is in the midst of replacing six more at a cost of roughly $75,000 to $80,000 a piece. The department, since 2003, has also rebuilt 39 parks on public school grounds. The playground building frenzy comes on the heels of a 2001 report in the Parks Department five-year master plan that said only 8 percent of the city’s parks were “in satisfactory or good condition” and that 73 percent “needed to be replaced.”

The department’s good intentions, however, have stirred some nostalgia in West Nashville, where the playground at Elmington Park, a well-loved, 13.3-acre corner park at the intersection of West End and Bowling avenues, is facing demolition.

Fifteen years ago, a band of West Nashville neighbors raised roughly $40,000 in private money to pay for the playground along with matching city dollars, and — although they are understanding of the Parks Department’s desire to build safer playgrounds — they are sad to see their old playground being demolished and replaced with one that, for the sake of modern safety standards, will not have sand covering its ground.

Burkley Allen, who lives a block away from the park and led the fund-raising drive, said she understands why the Parks Department is installing the safer, ADA-compliant playgrounds and said she has no beef with the department — the public planning process for the Master Plan was an open one, she says. But, still, Allen was startled to see the wrecking ball at Elmington Park.
It sounds like this is being done for the right reasons, but I suppose any change--and especially one that brings back memories for local childhoods--is bound to generate both positive and negative reactions. At the very least, it's something to think about the next time you decide to take the kids to the park.

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