By Molly Weeks Crumbley
Calvert County Parks and Recreation cut the ribbon on the new playground at Dunkirk District Park September 30. It was a moment a lot of area children have been waiting for, since the old playground was closed over the summer during the remodel.
“We definitely think it’s worth the wait,” Shannon Nazzal, director of Parks and Recreation said with a chuckle, “though we clearly aren’t waiting.”
Indeed, throngs of children were already enthusiastically playing on every corner of the playground. Nazzal and County Commissioner Kelley McConkey kept their remarks brief, acknowledging the hard work of the CCPR staff, Playground Specialists, Calvert Marine Museum, and the public who communicated their thoughts during the design process. The playground takes its theme from the Chesapeake Bay, featuring play structures inspired by familiar Calvert County sights like a Drum Point Lighthouse-inspired slide tower, boardwalk paths, and a William B. Tennison-inspired boat.
After brief remarks in the pavilion, the audience was free to head to the playground to join the ribbon cutting and explore the new equipment. Children, including Nazzal’s young son, fittingly cut the long red ribbon. With a snip and a cheer, the playground officially opened to the public and children in attendance weighed in with their expert reviews.
Here’s what they had to say:
Ella, age 3: “I like the lighthouse.”
Grace, age 12: “I love the zip line!”
Brooks, age 6: “The lighthouse slides are the best.”
Zane, age 5: “I got super bouncy!”
Sebastian, age 8: “The lighthouse goes so high! I can climb and climb and then climb some more all the way to the top! Oh, and the boat! I like to be a captain catching fish.”
Amelia, age 3: “I love the zip line! I did it again and again and again and again.”
Bryce, age 6: “I just like hanging and spinning on everything.”
Maisie, age 3: “I love the big slides because they’re so big and fast!”
Heidi, age 9: “I don’t have a favorite part. The whole place is so cool! It’s all cool.”
The reviews are overwhelmingly favorable. Dunkirk District Park, 10750 Southern Maryland Blvd., is free and open to the public daily from 8:30am-11pm. Facebook @calvertcountyparks.