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New playground finished in Middlesex Twp.

The new playground at the community park in Middlesex Township is now open. Submitted photo

Families in Middlesex Township will now have a new place to play.

The in-progress playground upgrade at the Middlesex Township Community Park was completed on Friday morning, and the new playground is now open for parents and kids to explore.

“They poured the fall surface on Wednesday, and it took a full day to cure,” township manager Adam Hartwig said Friday. “This morning was the first day where we were able to take down the caution tape and let everybody have a go at it.”

The playground was funded in part by a $204,500 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant set aside for “work to include construction of pedestrian walkway; installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing; (Americans with Disablities Act) access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.”

Hartwig said he felt the playground filled a niche in the area, as there is “nothing else like it around.”

“It’s very unique to the area, and so we expect it to be extremely popular,” he said. “It goes in line with the expansion we are looking to do, with the playground and the pavilion, and really investing in recreation in our community.”

There hasn’t been a large-scale investment in parks and recreation in Middlesex Township for some time, Hartwig said. The playground renovation goes hand-in-hand with recent and upcoming upgrades to the tennis courts and walking trail around the park.

“As communities grow and younger families move in, there’s a need and a desire for recreation facilities. The facilities that we had were outdated, they were aging, and they were not up to current standards,” he said. “(It’s about) re-prioritizing and making sure that we are providing ample recreation opportunities for everybody, and reinvesting in that.”