Editor’s Note:  Thanks to Lara at TwiceBlessedLife.com for covering this small quiet park, that was just built this summer!  For this park, Lara receives Imagine That!!! passes from our Roving Reporter promotion!  Make sure you check out Lara’s blog on raising twins.

Patriot Park is located approximately at 83 Wabeno Avenue, in Springfield NJ.  This park has a small fenced-in playground that was recently built in June 2011. Grassy perimeter, with raised, wood-chipped center surrounded by plastic divider ledges. Usually pretty clean, but occasionally cigarette butts, soda cans/bottles, candy wrappers have been found, despite the nearby trashcan and recycling can.

There are two gates, the main entrance gate barely stays closed and can be operated by a small child easily, the rear entrance is harder to open for a child, but not impossible. There is a large awning over the main playground apparatus that keeps the center play area cool even on a very hot day. Outside of the fenced-in area are large rocks, some trees, and a grassy area that local dog-walkers favor, as well as one of Springfield’s community gardens in its own separate fenced-in area. Also, outside the fenced-in area is a stream that runs at the back of the grounds, with no barrier. The stream area towards the nearby bridge at street-side is a concern, as the drop-off there is pretty steep. On the other side of the stream is Jonathan Dayton H.S.’s sports field.
How many stars would you give this on a scale of 1-5? 3.5
Link to Google Map

Recommended Ages: A pre-school playground for 2-5 year-olds

Climbing: An easy, not steep rock-wall type ramp on one side, and a steeper climbing wall with foot holes on the other side, stairs to access the main apparatus, as well as a spiral platform-type stair set.
Playthings: A spinning ball puzzle, a ‘driving’ board with steering wheel and gear shift, and a ‘game board’ with movable markers and a spinner. A small ledge underneath the main apparatus that can be used as a store/restaurant counter.
Slides: A small toddler slide, and a bigger twin ramp slide.
Swings: Two baby swings and two big kid swings
Other: Three standalone rockers shaped like motorcycles

What kind of amenities can you find at this location?

Parking: Street
Benches: A few benches are scattered throughout the playground area
Drinking Fountain: NONE, but nearby Springfield Library has a water fountain inside.
Bathrooms: NONE, but it’s a short walk to the Springfield Public Library which has bathrooms
Handicap Accessibility: Small ramp onto main playground area

Sports Fields: NONE, but it’s a short walk to Jonathan Dayton H.S.’s soccer field
Water: There’s a stream back in the wooded area outside of the fenced-in playground. Some of the stream access areas near the bridge have a steep drop, with no barriers.

Other Cool Stuff: Springfield’s Patriot Gardens (community garden) is just outside the fenced-in playground in its own separate fenced-in area.

Make a Day of It: Springfield Public Library has a children’s section with toys, games, kids’ computers, coloring pages/crayons, large stuffed animals and a nice comfy sofa. Many children’s programs are regularly scheduled. http://www.springfieldpubliclibrary.com/joomla15/