Gilbert Park Playground
Three decades of memories, laughs, creativity, imagination and fun have built the foundation for the new experiences to come with the Gilbert Park Playground in Mount Dora, Florida.
Nearly three generations of Mount Dorans have enjoyed this park under the shady trees, with a comforting Florida breeze, while gazing at the breathtaking lake just ahead. Although change is almost always difficult to accept, the community has the past three decades of experiences and memories to thank for building the foundation for the new Gilbert Park Playground.
The City of Mount Dora is honoring those memories in its plan for the new playground set, comprised of robinia wood, ADA accessible components and an entirely enchanting pirate-theme. The funding provided for the improvements cover the cost of the entire grounds and play sets, allowing for a much-needed face-lift and a thoroughly immersive playing experience. The two to five-year-old wheelchair accessible playground will remain, and there will be plenty of elevated and ground level activities for all ages and all accessibilities throughout the new play set. This includes: hammock swings, manipulatives, somersault bars, interactive play panels, climbing and multiple slides. Many of the items provide different graduated levels of play allowing for children to challenge themselves and grow with the playground. The Intrepid Ship will encourage kids to play for hours, explore their imagination and work with their crewmates on how to sail the ship. The Jungle Dome will challenge each user of different skills to climb, jump, explore and hangout. Additional play items will include balance beams, stilts and spinners.
This comprehensive design allows for easy access to all play structures so that kids can play with their friends on, under and all around the playground.
Parents are encouraged to play with their kids or can take pause on the benches while having sight of their children at all times and all angles.
Inclusivity was vital to this design, as evidenced by the customized swing with traditional belts and two large basket swings. The birds nest, also known as basket swings allow for 360 degree accessibility, and users can enter from any angle. The basket swing is a favorite among those who find traditional belt swings difficult. It also allows for multiple users, so that care-givers and friends can play together.
With this new investment, the City of Mount Dora demonstrates its commitment to a playground that compliments the natural beauty around Gilbert Park, while providing transparent sight lines for caregivers to keep an eye on their children. The new playground will be constructed with strong, durable robinia wood to mirror the surroundings and ensure a safe playing space. This inclusive, creative, cognitive and physical playground’s values remain natural beauty, safety and exploration.
Although we say goodbye to the old playground that helped our children grow and play, we will preserve its memory with a memorial at the entrance of the park. Now, the generations who once played their hearts out in Gilbert Park can bring their children and grandchildren to the park to have the same experiences. Imagination and creativity was the foundation for the Gilbert Park Playground, and it remains so. Please join the City of Mount Dora in welcoming a new generation of magic, thrills and dreams, and sail into the future of Gilbert Park.