Volunteers help make Westminster tot lot a reality CENTRAL -- Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

June 21, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

The tot lot at the new city park in the Whispering Meadows development off Uniontown Road is ready for running, jumping, climbing and swinging.

Volunteers and city workers installed the playground equipment June 11 and 12, just in time for summer fun.

As they worked, 7-year-old Zach Brandenburg couldn't help but watch. He even helped with some work that didn't require heavy lifting.

His house backs up to the park, and he said he'll be a regular on the swings and slides.

"I think it will be really well used," said Jerry Toadvine, a neighbor who helped install the equipment. His two children -- Robby, 6, and Vicky, 4 -- were anxious for the new play spot to be finished, he said.

On Thursday, the city Parks Board voted to name the park -- almost an acre in size -- Whispering Meadows Park. It is the smallest of the city's eight parks and adjoins the Westminster Municipal Jaycee Park.

The park is on Whispering Meadows Court between Mountain Laurel Court and Field Lily Court.

The brightly colored, handicapped-accessible tot lot is the first phase of the park, City Recreation Director Carol Donovan said. The play equipment sits in a bed of wood chips.

The city also plans to plant trees throughout the site, install benches and build a blacktop path leading to Jaycee Park soon, she said.

Later in the summer, a nine-station exercise court will be built toward the back of the park and a sign identifying the park will be installed on a berm at the front, she said.

Whispering Meadows developers Samuel R. Rothblum and Joseph A. Myers donated the park site to the city as part of the city's open-space program. They paid $15,000 to help develop the park, and the city contributed $5,000, Ms. Donovan said.

The 44-acre development has 111 single-family homes.

"I think it's great. I'm glad we could do something to help the community," Mr. Rothblum said.

Neighbors helped decide what the park would be like.

In January, they circulated a petition because they didn't like the developers' idea to install a basketball court. They said they were concerned about noise and loitering at the court.

Older children who probably would use a basketball court can walk to Jaycee Park to play at a court there, Mr. Toadvine said. Whispering Meadows residents wanted a park geared toward younger children, he said.

In February, residents endorsed a plan for a tot lot and exercise court.

"The city has been great," said resident David Stevenson, who helped install the tot lot equipment. "It's worked out really well."

Mr. Stevenson, whose home is adjacent to the park, said his children -- Patrick, 6, and Maggie, 3 -- and others will be at the park often this summer.

"There are a lot of younger kids in the neighborhood," he said.

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