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Park Play in the Beaumont Area

The 10th and 11th district are home to a vast variety of public parks — a few of the neighborhood favorites have recently undergone improvements.

New and improved Valley Park

At the end of 2019, Mayor Linda Gorton and District 11 Councilmember Jennifer Reynolds, along with Parks and Recreation cut a ribbon to officially open the updated playground in Valley Park. There are several types of swings, and a climbing net on a merry-go-round. It’s the first one in Lexington that spins while you climb.

Parks and Recreation built concrete benches in the center of the playground while the Cardinal Valley Activity Board commissioned local artists, Michelle Armstrong and Deborah Eller, to design and install tile mosaics on the benches. Michelle and Deborah teach art within the Fayette County Public School system. The mosaics highlight favorite park activities such as dancing, dreaming, exploring, and playing. Each bench also has two permanent checker boards.

“We have over 100 parks in Lexington, and we strive to make each park unique,” said Lexington Parks and Recreation Director Monica Conrad. “The features in this playground are especially exciting because they were created in part by the surrounding neighbors.”

With the combination of the bright play equipment, the cheerful mosaic tile benches, and the colorful fence pickets, Valley Park has become the most creative playground in Lexington.

Valley Park is located at 2077 Cambridge Drive.

Shillito Park Rebuild

Shillito Park’s rebuild was a long time coming, and all the hard work paid off last year.

Last Fall, Parks and Recreation held a community wide ribbon cutting and unveiling of the brand new playground. City government officials were on hand, including Mayor Linda Gorton, to provide information about the rebuild and to help usher in a new playground for the next generation.

Some key facts:

  • 800 volunteers
  • 3,696 hours of work
  • 5 days of construction
  • 924 individual volunteer shifts filled
  • 600 cubic yards of mulch put down
  • 36 new trees planted
  • 20,000 linear feet of lumber
  • 30,000 screws and fasteners were used

“This day has been months in the making. It’s now officially here that we’ve got this spectacular new Shillito Park playground,” said Councilmember Jennifer Mossotti of the 9th District at the ribbon cutting. “The word community is often debated, but on occasion the word itself brings us together in the truest sense of its meaning.”

Instead of using wood like they did 25 years ago, they chose to use recycled plastics. With the different material, the structure will require very little maintenance compared to the wooden structure. 

Shillito Park is located at 300 West Reynolds Road.

This article also appears on page 55 of the 2020 print edition of Beaumont Guide.

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