Playground nears completion at Lake Shaftsbury
SHAFTSBURY — After some delay, a new playground at Lake Shaftsbury State Park is nearing completion.
As of Thursday morning, much of the playground was in place.
Installation began on Wednesday, said Reuben Allen, Region 2 manager for the Vermont State Parks.
"It should be ready to go as soon as they get it in," he said.
The playground includes swings, a large, classic play structure and a dome-shaped climbing structure.
The site previously had a playground, but it had to be removed, as it no longer met requirements for things like safety, Allen said. Officials considered it important to get another one in place.
"Because there's so many kids and families that go there, we knew we needed to have a playground there," he said. "We had funding for it this year."
They hoped to have it installed months ago, he said, but due to "very time-consuming" state contracting requirements, it wasn't able to be ready by Memorial Day, as hoped.
"It will be in now for the last few months of the park season," Allen said.
The playground is funded through the Parks Region 2 capital infrastructure budget, which is part of the parks capital funding allocated by the state.
Project costs total approximately $44,000. The contractor is Pettinelli & Associates, of Burlington.
Other changes announced in the spring have also led to an uptick in attendance this year, Allen said.
In the spring, officials announced a new policy allowing pets at the park and an extended season through mid-October, to allow people to better enjoy early fall weather.
2019 visitation to the park through Aug. 5 was 15,250, representing a 9 percent increase over 2018, Allen said in an email. "I think at least some of that can be attributed to people coming who didn't before, because they can now bring their pets," he said
He said officials have gotten almost no negative feedback about the dog policy.
"It has not been a problem at all, that we have been made aware of, anyway," Allen said.
Entrance fees for the park remain unchanged at $4 for those 14 and older and $2 for children from 4 to 13. There are separate fees for the group campsite and the on-site cottage for rent.
The park is on an 84-acre parcel surrounding Lake Shaftsbury. The area was operated as a private campground/cabin resort before it became a state park in 1974.
Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at email@example.com, at @BAN_pleboeuf on Twitter and 802-4478-7567, ext. 118.
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