A 35-year-old wooden playground in Winter Park could see some big upgrades and possibly even a complete overhaul in the near future.
“Castle Park,” a wooden jungle gym in Martin Luther King Jr. Park has been one of the most beloved public play areas in Winter Park since it was built in 1987 and is one of the last remaining wooden playgrounds in the area. The structure features a series of turret-like towers that helped to give it its nickname and was originally built by volunteers using donated materials and equipment and designed by Robert Leathers (Website).
The City of Winter Park has been mulling over an update for the structure since 2022 when we shared a public meeting notice HERE, saying the city felt that the years of wear and tear had necessitated bringing it up to code.
A public meeting is currently scheduled for Tuesday, February 7 at 6 p.m. at the Winter Park Community Center where city staff will review concepts and renderings that they’ve developed using public input since a series of meetings held last summer. Click HERE for more information.
A petition has been launched on Change.org in the hopes of convincing the City of Winter Park to repair the current structure and keep it as-is and retain its original character.
We’ve assembled a Pinterest Board of fun, innovative playgrounds that we’d love to see in Winter Park, that at least have some elements that could be replicated at the Castle.
My wife and our many friends headed up the effort in 1986-7. Many of the names on the plaque are due to my efforts and those of many others. Note the bathroom fixtures, the trees and the parking lot, all there due to my contacts. Tracy Forrest, of WPC, was a real stalwart. I scrawled our names in the shade structure concrete. I am sure maintenance is a serious issue. Please be deliberate deciding the future of The Community Playground. That week is one of our fondest memories. 700 residents were involved.