Coventry P.E.A.C.E Park: Donít take this community asset for granted

Coventry P.E.A.C.E Park was voted the best place to take your kid in both 2008 and 2009. But, with the Coventry Elementary School building now vacant, we shouldn’t assume that the park will always be there. And we should remember that the park was built by the community for the community.

In 1993, parents, students and the Cleveland Heights community built the playground from a design created by Learning Structures Inc. The playground includes equipment to help development fine and gross motor skills, as well features to encourage the development of the arts: a music wall with chimes, a pixel wall with colored blocks that can be formed into pictures and two theater areas for impromptu plays. It is just the place to go to work off extra energy, stretch the imagination and get away from the TV.

Upon completion, Coventry P.E.A.C.E. canvassed students to assess their reaction. “It is better than going to an amusement park,” said one. Plus there’s no admission fee.

When you visit the playground, notice two distinct play areas, the upper level and the lower level. The direct connection between the two levels is the 36-foot slide (the big slide) much loved by kids and adults alike.

There is a circular walk way between the two levels for “nonsliders.” The upper level center is the P.E.A.C.E. Palace, with access to the big slide, the bat tunnel ̶ which leads to the smaller 12-foot slide ̶ a tire tunnel and the tire theater. Many pieces challenge balance in the form of the beam walk, wobbly walk, and the clatter bridge. The monkey swing beam and the space trolley develop both muscles and balance. The pagoda glider swing is a restful shaded area for adults to relax while kids play.

On one side of the palace is the P.E.A.C.E. Garden, where the time capsule is buried. Beyond that is the Memory Walk where bricks are inscribed with the names of Coventry alumni and friends. A short walk to the west of the palace is a brick area surrounded by benches. There you will find more names of those who were vital to the park’s development and a short history.

The lower level is composed of several major play areas. The Coventry Clipper at the Euclid Heights Boulevard end has tire swings, a firemen’s pole, a climbing chain, a ladder to get to the deck for the small slide, a theater, and, of all fun things, a speaking tube that runs underground from the clipper’s wheelhouse to its end. Between the clipper and the end of the big slide is the Taj Mahal with its ladders and sliding poles: “Tarzan” swing, monkey swing beam, the climbing dragon, wobbly beams and the rally roadster.

With so many fun things to do, it’s no wonder the park was voted the best place to take your kid. But, we’ll have to work to keep it that way.

The Spring clean-up day is Saturday, April 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come for an hour or all day, if you have time. Snacks and lunch will be served in the Coventry Library.

Garden tools and gloves are provided, you bring your enthusiasm and the desire to keep the garden and playground beautiful.

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 2:53 PM, 04.07.2010