BY KRISSI HUMBARD — New playground equipment has been installed at Deitz Park, Hyattsville’s tucked-away community park.
The new forest-themed equipment features swings and lots of climbing structures. There are also plaques with nature facts sprinkled around the playground. The equipment was installed at the end of January.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) has been working with the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) since 2015 on an update to the park.
During a community workshop held May 30, 2015, the NDC found three main things that residents wanted in the park: security, to preserve the tree canopy and to keep the park’s character.
“It’s important to us that the design for public space is a reflection of what the community voice is,” said Rachel McNamara, a program manager with NDC.
Based on the community’s input, discussions with DPW staff, and NDC’s observations, the final plan manages the wet areas of the park in a way that is effective, educational, habitat-forming, and reduces runoff downstream; creates a more family-friendly park; and will encourage positive use of the park.
NDC also suggested adding a new sign closer to the street — and possibly painting the street — to bring more attention and more color to the park.
DPW Director Lesley Riddle also said the asphalt pathway will be improved.
“This is in the design stage now and the improvements should be completed by the fall,” Riddle said. “We will also continue to add native plants this spring and fall.”
Patrick Paschall praised the playground upgrades. “The new equipment that is in is fantastic.”
But he said folks enjoying the park one day had one question: What happened to the grill?
“I’m not against returning the grill,” said Riddle, but she added, “it does create a liability because you have a very wooded area … but we’ll look at it.”