Fox Chase playground to get $300,000 upgrade

Champions Park Playground at Verree and Susquehanna is set to undergo an improvement project this summer.

Landscape architect Taryn Dalius speaks Tuesday, June 4, during a presentation about planned improvements to Champions Park Playground. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

A popular playground in Fox Chase that caters to kids with disabilities is set to receive $300,000 worth of improvements this summer.

Champions Park Playground, at Verree and Susquehanna roads, was completely renovated about five years ago with totally accessible equipment. Now, the plan is to expand the play area and make safety upgrades.

“I’m calling this a refresh,” 10th District Councilman Brian O’Neill told neighbors at a presentation last week at CORA Services.

Taryn Dalius, a landscape architect working on the project, said work will be done on the park’s entrance. A welcome sign will be added, and fencing will be installed on the path from the parking lot to the playground to keep children from cars, she said.

The plan is to also add mesh to the fence along Verree Road to keep children from climbing over the barrier and running into the busy street. New playground equipment will also be installed.

In order to increase shade at Champions Park, the project will include planting five more trees and extending the roof on existing play areas, Dalius said.

Cameras and sonic devices will be set up to prevent vandalism and teenagers hanging out in the park at night, O’Neill said.

The sonic devices, nicknamed “mosquitoes,” emit an annoying sound that can be heard only by teenagers and young adults, O’Neill said. They were installed at Chalfont Playground in Millbrook several years ago and proved effective, the councilman added.

Officials from the city Department of Parks & Recreation said construction will begin this summer and should finish up before the fall. O’Neill said the disturbance created by the work should be minimal.

Residents at the meeting recommended several changes, including expanding the parking lot, using porous asphalt to prevent flooding and adding bathrooms to the playground.

O’Neill said he would look into the suggestions, adding that putting bathrooms at the park should be pretty simple.

The plans for Champions Park Playground will remain on display at O’Neill’s Fox Chase office, 432 Rhawn St., for the next month. ••