Matt Lucy likes to take his daughter to Brookfield Township Park, but he stopped going over the summer.
“I felt it was unsafe for kids,” he said.
Look at the slides in Jenny’s Junction playground, Lucy said at the Jan. 16 township trustees meeting.
“A couple of the slides, they’re over top of my daughter’s head if she walks underneath them,” Lucy said. “If you come down the slide there’s a good, probably, three-and-a-half-foot drop.”
Brookfield Road Superintendent Jaime Fredenburg encouraged Lucy to resume going to the park in the spring.
“We just redid it,” he said of Jenny’s Junction.
In fact, the township has done many projects at the park to make it safer and better, from removing poison ivy to extending trails, and plans more work once warmer weather returns.
Township workers redid drainage at the playground, and dumped two truckloads of mulch for fall protection, Fredenburg said.
“This spring, we have to do another two loads,” he said.
The township also will pour a new entrance walkway to the playground, Fredenburg said.
“Jenny Junction looks absolutely fantastic,” Trustee Dion Magestro said in October, prior to leaving office. “We’re making a progression here towards things that have probably been let go for way too long. We’ve been able to do it for almost no budget.”
Workers spread wood chips on about 1,000 feet of trail and have another 150 feet to do, when more chips become available from tree companies, said Park Superintendent Tim Mulligan.
Four security cameras will be installed this spring, which Trustee Ron Haun said should deter vandalism and misuse of the park.
“We’re making efforts to try to keep the park as nice as we possibly can,” he said.
Trustees want to expand use beyond just the activities of Brookfield Youth Baseball and Softball Inc., which runs the baseball and softball leagues at the park. But, they also want to promote BYBS activities, noting the group has done lots of work on the fields over the years.
Haun said he wants to formalize the relationship with BYBS in a written agreement. The parties have worked on oral agreements over the years, but members of both groups change over time. A written agreement will set the responsibilities of each side, so new trustees and BYBS board members will know what they are supposed to do, Haun said.
David DeJoy, a member of the BYBS board, rattled off a list of improvements BYBS has made – renovating fields, repairing dugouts, mowing and adding drainage pipe at the unfinished fields – and acknowledged the role the trustees and the school district have taken in shared and separate projects.
“It’s been neglected for some time,” DeJoy said of the park. “This new group of (BYBS) dads that have been involved here have really kicked butt.”
There seems to be a good relationship between all three entities right now, DeJoy said. He welcomes an agreement with the trustees, noting they have been meeting “pretty regularly,” and BYBS shares their intent to make the park nicer and safer.
While trustees and BYBS consider what they want to do and what they can afford, Lucy said the greater community also can play a role.
“If you guys need help with anything, I know there are a lot of parents with young kids in the town that would help out,” Lucy said. “If you guys need help, you need fundraising, anything, I’d pitch in. I know there are a lot of people in my neighborhood that would pitch in. We just want a nice place to take our kids without having to go to Buhl Park or over to Hubbard to Harding Park. We got a nice town here, let’s keep it nice.”