We understand that local parents and caregivers are curious about what is going on at Brookdale Park's playground and while Essex County's plans aren't 100% finalized yet, there are a few questions that we can help answer...
I heard that there was a new playground coming to Brookdale Park, is that still true? Yes, Essex County is planning to construct an entirely new playground at Brookdale Park this year (2015). All of the existing play equipment - majority of which was installed in 1997 - will be removed and all new equipment and safety surfacing will be put in. The layout of the playground is being completely redesigned using input from a 2014 online community survey. Final plans and construction timeline will be announced at an Essex County press conference in the coming weeks.
What's going on with the missing infant/bucket/tot swings? Brookdale’s infant swings were removed by Essex County Park System after a routine safety inspection identified the structure's original fixed hanger hardware to be “showing signs of fatigue” and, unfortunately, the replacement hardware is discontinued so there is no easy/immediate/inexpensive fix. Given that the current playground is slated for demolition in the coming months, retrofitting hardware for interim swings will not be purchased/installed.
Is there a comparable playground that we can take our kids to while Brookdale's playground is under construction? Brookdale Park's playground will be completely shut down for at least three months this summer and/or fall. In the meantime, we can recommend a number of large public playgrounds that have similar amenities and are only a short distance from the Brookdale Park: Edgemont Park Playground in Montclair (1.7 miles), Yanticaw Park Playground in Nutley (3.6 miles) and Verona Park Playground in Verona (4.2 miles).