Starting in 1999, the members of Save Ocean Beach, Inc. Playground Committee worked on the construction of a Children’s Playscape in the Children’s Playground Area at Ocean Beach Park. The project consisted of the installation of a Children’s Playscape in the area of the Children’s Playground that once located the Kiddy Pool. The site selected in 1999 for the Children’s Playscape had been overlooked, under maintained and neglected over the years. The Kiddy Pool was no longer operational and a snow fence surrounded the Kiddy Pool due to safety issues with the Kiddy Pool. There were many broken pieces on the old swings and the original playscape was obsolete with parts missing and not handicap accessible.
The new Children’s Playscape (completed in May 2001) consists of handicap accessible swings and handicap access to the Playscape via a rubber coated cement surface. The Children’s Playscape is in the shape of a Lighthouse and a Tugboat and consists of slides, swings and spring riders. This project greatly enhanced Ocean Beach Park as well as the Children’s Playground.
The Frank L. Palmer Fund donated $65,000 to the project. Other areas of the
community such as: the Waterford Group, Gridlock Grille, The Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut, Pfizer, Citizen Donations and the Save Ocean Beach Group also made contributions to the project.
The following are Milestones for the completion of the Children’s Playground:
- Early March 2001: Demolition of the Children’s Kiddy Pool, swings, the old playscape, slide and Al’s Stand. -Completed 3/15/ 01
- Mid April 2001: Construction begins on the Children’s Playscape. –Groundbreaking April 14, 2001 at 10:00 a.m. at the Children’s Playground.
- End April 2001: Completion of the Children’s Playground.
- Mid May 2001: Children’s Playscape Dedication Ceremonies. –Dedication Ceremonies May 20, 2001 at 1:00 p.m. at the Children’s Playground.
In September 2001, the second phase of the Children’s Playground was the construction a Shade Shelter.
The following are Milestones for the completion of the Shade Shelter:
- End Sept 2001: Construction of the Shade Shelter. –Completed 10/01.
- Early May 2002: Installation of the handicap access surface. -Completed 5/15/02
- Early June 2002: Installation of benches under the Shade Shelter. -Completed 6/8/02
From 2019 into 2020 the playground underwent much needed repairs and replacement of various sections of the playscape. This was a cooperative effort of Save Ocean Beach and Ocean Beach Park Management. The playscape was again ready for summer fun just in time for the summer 2021 opening of the park. Maintenance of the playground has since been turned over to Ocean Beach Park Management.