PEPPER PIKE — After receiving a $127,000 NatureWorks grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources last year, the city plans to replace its current playground with new items that are more accessible and inclusive.

The total cost of the project is $169,000, but after receiving the grant, Pepper Pike will contribute $42,000, Finance Director Joe Brodzinski said.

Service Director Bob Girardi said that the new playground will serve a wider range of children because plans call for equipment to be lower to the ground, sensory equipment and a swing that is wheelchair-accessible.

The playground also will have a water-permeable asphalt pad with a drainage system below, Mayor Richard Bain said.

“Getting a wheelchair in mulch is difficult,” Mr. Girardi said of the need for an updated surface.

“We felt this was very competitive and the most attractive playground setup that we were being offered,” Mayor Bain said.

In addition to adding accessible equipment, Pepper Pike officials wanted to offer activities for multiple generations at the playground. There will also be a section of the playground for adults that will include exercise equipment, according to Mr. Girardi. He said that the exercise equipment is close enough to the children’s playground that parents and grandparents can watch their kids while exercising.

The new playground will replace the current equipment, which is located at the park next to the Pepper Pike City Hall, 28000 Shaker Boulevard. Mr. Girardi said that he would like to have the equipment installed by early June so it does not interfere with summer events at the park. Mayor Bain expected that it would take two to four weeks to install the new playground.

The equipment will be installed by BCI Burke Company. Mr. Girardi said that he also worked with four other vendors and discussed quality, design and price, but selected equipment from Snider Recreation because of their high quality products.

In other news, city council re-appointed Don Sheehy as the city engineer. Council met in regular session on April 24.

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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