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Town conducts park ‘kid’ talks
Kids hosted at Town Hall

A group of Farragut children and their parents gathered at Town Hall to discuss options for the proposed playground at McFee Park, Thursday, Feb. 5.

“We want to know what you kids want in the playground,” Leisure Services Director Sue Stuhl told the group.

“There aren’t any bad ideas … be as creative as you want,” she added.

Stuhl asked the children to put their names on the papers so the Town could keep them; she also listed all of the children’s ideas.

The Town has $200,000 to spend on McFee Park’s playground, which will be accompanied by a separate splash pad.

Six-and-a-half year old Taylor Higginbotham wanted the playground to include monkey bars, a walking trail and “a play bar,” or a zip line.

Owen Cianciolo, six years old, made a long list of the characteristics of his dream playground.

“I want putt-putt, a trampoline, a pool and a big twisty slide,” Owen said. The twisty slide was a desire echoed by many of the children present.

Owen’s list also included a waterslide and snow slide, a sand box with a backhoe, a fireman’s pole, swing and seesaw.

Another oft-requested item was a geodesic dome, or a type of dome-shaped jungle gym.

Peter Olson wanted a climbing net “that reaches kind of high for bigger kids,” as well as a long slide.

Paul Cianciolo wanted a spinner seat and the horizontal “G.I. Joe nets.” He repeated other requests such as a fireman’s pole, dome, putt-putt course, slide and “giant” sandbox.

However, he added a “wooden fort with lots of trap doors” as well as “underground tunnels.” Paul later added a track to his list.

Charlie Cianciolo, age 11, wanted a pirate rope ladder, balance beam, tire swing, picnic area and “spring animals” that children could ride.

Tommy Cianciolo, 13 years old, asked Stuhl to consider a rock climbing wall, in addition to his brothers’ and friends’ requests.

Logan Johnson drew a picture of a playhouse and asked that the roof be flat instead of peaked.

Paul agreed with that idea, saying kids could then play on top of the house too.

Some of the parents had ideas for Stuhl as well: April Johnson said she would like to see a “spider net climber,” which is a group of cables and nets intertwined in a 3-dimensional shape.

Maureen Cianciolo recommended pulleys for lifting and lowering items from the fort, as well as ramps for launching balls or Hot Wheels vehicles.

Parents asked Stuhl what type of ground covering the playground would have: mulch or rubber. Stuhl said it was still being considered, but mulch could interfere with the splash pad.

The kids recommended a “pool floor” that would be located under monkey bars or other playground item.

“That way you have to swim across, like if you fall in during the summer,” Peter Olson said.

“It’s kind of like extra,” Paul Cianciolo said.

“Very cool!” Stuhl exclaimed.


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