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New playground at Bunten Road Park lifts imagination

The new playground at Bunten Road Park will open this weekend

The new playground at Bunten Road Park will open this weekend

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Kids helped choose the design for the new playground at Bunten Road Park, which opens this weekend

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The former playground at Bunten Road Park was built by the Duluth Rotary Club. It was replaced by a new project, where kids helped chose the design.

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The former playground at Bunten Road Park was built by the Duluth Rotary Club. It was replaced by a new project, where kids helped choose the design.

For Duluth kids, a new playground at Bunten Road Park isn’t just a place to play, but a place to play with imagination, said Kathy Marelle, the city’s parks and recreation director.

After months of anticipation and community involvement, officials will celebrate the new structure with a ribbon cutting this weekend.

Last summer, campers helped evaluate 12 designs the city received for the project, which replaces a wooden playground built by the Duluth Rotary in 1999.

“The ‘Spirit of Play’ instilled by the Duluth Rotary sparked the need to renovate the aged structures,” Marelle said.

The mayor and council chose the Kidz Zone from Champion Recreation design for the project last summer, and costruction began in November.

“The kids indicated that this playground design was more than just a place to play, but a place to play with imagination – the Berliner climber was a space ship, the Trans Glide was a pirate ship, and the play structures were castles,” Marelle said.

She described the $376,675 project as a modern theme site with play sets for kids ages 2 to 12, with colors chosen to represent the city logo of “Capturing the Spirit of Good Living.”

With shade units, two swing areas, seven slides, severl climbers, some spinners, a pavilion area and other attractions, “kids will be climbing, crawling, jumping, sliding into physical fitness,” she said.

The ribbon-cutting is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, with kids activities continuing until 2 p.m.