Lackman Playground looking good after extensive renovations

Quite a transformation: Lackman Playground, 1101 Bartlett St. in Bustleton, underwent a $500,000 renovation project. TOM WARING / TIMES PHOTO

A few years back, longtime Morefield Road resident Jerry Boardman noticed that Lackman Playground was starting to deteriorate.

Boardman contacted the office of City Councilman Brian O’Neill, who has about 20 playgrounds in his district. O’Neill was able to earmark city funding for renovations to Lackman, 1101 Bartlett St. in Bustleton.

The updates include a new sprayground; an asphalt trike track for young children to ride; entrance and parking lot improvements, with new fence work and guardrail; and new windows and air conditioners in the office and dance room. O’Neill said Lackman no longer looks like “a dump.”

“It looks so much nicer now,” he said.

Last week, O’Neill joined Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, state Sen. John Sabatina Jr. and state Rep. Martina White for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Also on hand were Boardman, 7th Police District community relations officer Rich Simon, officials from the Department of Public Property, recreation leader Bob Hosephros, summer campers and their boisterous camp leaders.

Almost $500,000 was spent on the project, and O’Neill said the turnaround is the best he’s seen in 36 years of renovating playgrounds.

“This is the biggest transformation. The before and after, there’s no comparison,” he said.

Lovell said every neighborhood in Philadelphia deserves a park and recreation center like Lackman, adding that a few improvements can uplift a whole neighborhood.

Sabatina said Lackman is now a safe and clean place to play.

“This is a beautiful playground,” he said. ••