The Lyn Stacie Getz Playground in Bel Air reopened last week after undergoing major renovations to upgrade the equipment and make it more accessible.
Two new, nearly life-size giraffe structures welcome visitors to the new older children’s section, for 5-to-12-year-olds. They join the metal giraffe sculpture off the intersection of Route 24 and West Ring Factory Road, which many people use to identify the playground.
The giraffes are the entrance to an ADA accessible ramp that leads up to the new climbing equipment made from composite plastic that is an alternative to wood and lasts longer.
The new section includes six slides of differing heights, numerous climbing pieces, a carousel, a tree house, chimes, and new swings, including a tire swing. New interactive panels include sign language letter and word formations, a Tic-Tac-Toe game, and basic English-to-Spanish words and phrases.
People with differing abilities will have an easier time moving around on the new, smooth rubber safety surface, which in most of the play area is light green. In areas where children need to be extra cautious, like directly under a swing, the surface is dark green. In other areas where children should be careful, like around a swing, the surface is light brown.
All the benches around the perimeter of the playground have been replaced.
Named after Ms. Getz, who died in 1999, the playground was built in 2001. Ms. Getz’s parents, Alan and Carollee Getz, made a personal donation of more than $50,000 to the project in their daughter’s memory.
Over the course of five days, volunteers from the community came together to build the playground, which was also funded by Harford County Government and the Emmorton Creative Playground Committee.
The 5-to-12-year-old section was the second of a two-phase project to update the entire playground, which includes brand new equipment and play surface; the 2-to-5-year-old section was completed in the spring. The only remaining playground work is on the see-saw in the toddler section and it is scheduled to be finished in the next couple weeks.