Valley Park updated with new playground equipment

Santa made an early visit to Valley Park this year, bringing new playground equipment, mosaic tile benches and a custom painted fence.

Mayor Linda Gorton and Councilmember Jennifer Reynolds cut a ribbon Dec. 17, 2019 to officially open the updated playground that features climbing and play features for children ages 2-5, and 5-12. There are several types of swings, and a climbing net on a merry-go-round. It’s the first one in Lexington that spins while you climb.

“Valley Park is very popular, and we want to be sure the playground is safe and accessible for all children,” Gorton said. The playground has 100% poured rubber surface so everyone can access the play equipment.

“Valley Park is a center of activity for many people in the district,” Councilmember Jennifer Reynolds said. “We’re excited to officially celebrate its improvements!” 

Lexington Parks and Recreation built concrete benches in the center of the playground. The Cardinal Valley Activity Board commissioned local artists to design and install tile mosaics on the benches. The mosaics highlight favorite park activities, including dancing, dreaming, exploring and playing. Each bench also has two permanent checker boards.

The Activity Board also commissioned a second art feature: a wood fence that includes painted pickets inspired by drawings from neighborhood children. Lexington Parks and Recreation provided the materials, and under the supervision of local artists, the pickets were painted by local high school art students and installed by neighborhood volunteers.

Board President Will Anglin was instrumental in locating, selecting and coordinating the work of the artists on the project. The artists were Michelle Armstrong and Deborah Eller, who both teach art in Fayette County Public Schools.

The combination of the bright play equipment, the cheerful mosaic tile benches and the colorful fence pickets makes Valley the most creative playground in Lexington, Gorton said.

“We have over 100 parks in Lexington, and we strive to make each park unique,” said Lexington Parks and Recreation Director Monica Conrad. “The features in this playground are especially exciting because they were created in part by the surrounding neighbors.”