The LICH playground, which desperately needs some love, is getting a seasonal painting and cleaning starting this Monday, May 24, 2010. The park will reopen on Saturday, May 29th, in honor of the Memorial Day weekend, and then close again on Tuesday, June 1st, for the project’s completion.
From LICH: ” To ensure the safety of visitors and workers, the park will be closed to the public during that time. The work is expected to last approximately 10 days. ”
These LICH-built and LICH-operated playgrounds have an interesting history. They were built some ten years ago in an agreement with the City in return for City park land (North Van Voorhees Park) which the hospital used to build a parking garage.
There was great controversy at the time over this deal. Opponents felt that city park land is sacred and should never be diverted for private use. I was one of these opponents. The opponents were also skeptical about LICH’s ability and good faith to produce worthwhile playgrounds. The controversy is well described in a New York Times article of August 8, 1993. Well, it’s now about a decade later, and I, for one, am happy, very happy with what LICH has done here. Over the years I have used these spaces to play with some of my grandchildren, to meet neighbors, and, weather willing, to enjoy the glorious outdoors.