Newark, New Jersey: Local playgrounds that have been closed for renovations during the summer will open sooner than expected.
In the spring, the playgrounds at Independence Park and Riverbank Park in the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark's East Ward were closed off so that new playgrounds could be installed. The new playground at Independence Park will include traditional playground equipment designed to look like musical instruments, handicap accessible swings, miniature zip lines, and a water mister for use during warm weather, all at a cost of $1,382,175 for the design and construction.
Many residents were outraged over the timing of the projects, which left few places for children to play in the neighborhood during the summer months.
"The lack of notice or community input for Independence Park neighbors is insulting and disrespectful", resident Amy Brown told Essex County Place at the time. Brown started a petition which received nearly 200 signatures.
According to Brown, "many people have noted that treating the community in this way would never fly in a more affluent town in Essex County. I find it hard to disagree."
However, according to Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., the playgrounds will reopen soon
DiVincenzo posted on Facebook that "work was expedited to finish the job during summer", and that the Independence Park playground will be reopened on Wednesday, August 10th at 12pm. The playground at Riverbank Park will reopen this Friday, July 29th, which is eight weeks early, DiVincenzo stated.
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