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New Deer Park playground in Westminster will have rubber safety surface, county plans for fall completion date

The playground area at Deer Park, seen here on August 16. The county has approved a contract for a new playground facility at the park.
The playground area at Deer Park, seen here on August 16. The county has approved a contract for a new playground facility at the park. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Westminster residents can expect a new “tot lot,” or playground for youngsters, at Deer Park in Westminster this fall.

Carroll County Board of Commissioners last week approved a nearly $150,000 contract with Cunningham Recreation for the labor, equipment, materials, delivery and installation of a tot lot at 637 Deer Park Road. The cost is included in the county budget, according to an agenda document.

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Jeff Degitz, director of the Department of Recreation and Parks, said the new playground is replacing an existing structure that is about 20 years old.

A rendering of the new playground planned for Deer Park, which will replace the existing structure. (Courtesy of Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks) - Original Credit: Dept. of Recreation and Parks
A rendering of the new playground planned for Deer Park, which will replace the existing structure. (Courtesy of Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks) - Original Credit: Dept. of Recreation and Parks (Dept. of Recreation and Parks / HANDOUT)

The equipment will be “pretty similar to what is there” now, but the mulch will be swapped out for rubber surfacing, according to Degitz. The rubber will cost more up front to install, but he expects it will save money in the long run because the county won’t have to pay to continue adding mulch to the playground, according to Degitz.

The rubber is a “much safer and consistent surface," and is "much easier to maintain,” Degitz said.

The playground area at Deer Park, seen here on August 16. The county has approved a contract for a new playground facility at the park.
The playground area at Deer Park, seen here on August 16. The county has approved a contract for a new playground facility at the park. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Carroll County has been converting playgrounds from mulch to rubber surfaces over the last five years or so as playground replacements have been needed, Degitz said.

The new playground at Deer Park will be smaller than the existing structure, which is 62 feet by 69 feet, while the new one will be 37 feet by 59 feet, Degitz wrote in an email.

“Please note that modern tot lot designs are much more space efficient than in the past while including multiple play features in compact and code compliant space,” he wrote. “We are excited to replace the aging equipment with this new playground and improved surfacing as a part of our ongoing efforts to provide safe places for children to play in Carroll County parks.”

Degitz said the new equipment will be installed as the old equipment is removed, so there should be very little time when there is no playground. He could not say exactly when the project will be complete but said it’s planned to be done in the fall.

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