New playground to be installed at Mantua’s Chestnut Branch Park

Equipment is expected to be installed by the end of the year

Samantha Blenderman, 2, enjoys playing at the Chestnut Branch Park playground last month. (Kristen Dowd/The Sun)

Mantua is welcoming new playground equipment to Chestnut Branch Park that will be installed by the end of the year.

The original equipment has been in place for 23 years, and town officials felt it was time for something new. Additions will include larger slides, a small rock-climbing wall and monkey bars.

“A lot of people are there and a lot of children use that park, so it was time to upgrade the equipment,” said Mayor Peter Scirrotto.

The project’s cost will be approximately $70,000, and the money will come from bonds and capital improvement. According to Scirrotto, the cost will be spread out over 10 to 15 years to limit the financial impact.

“The main thing is that it’s expensive equipment, and unfortunately, there are other things in the town that take precedence,” he said. “It starts to become a safety issue because the equipment becomes outdated. The new equipment is much safer and much more user friendly.”

Mantua has also recently replaced the toddler playground equipment at Chestnut Branch Park and completed a new playground at McCarson Park.

“We have been keeping up on all our parks, and we are definitely proud of our parks,” the mayor noted.

Jackson Blenderman, 5, has fun on the Chestnut Branch Park playground swings last month. (Kristen Dowd/The Sun)

Along with new playground equipment, Chestnut Branch eventually will have video surveillance cameras around the park.

“The more eyes we have on things the better off we are,” Scirrotto said. “There are a lot of people coming and going … It keeps us all safe, and it keeps the kids safe.”

Scirrotto added that cameras are an asset when it comes to park injuries and other incidents, allowing police to review the videos as needed. The cameras are not included in the $70,000 cost of the playground equipment.

Although the future of the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertain, Scirrotto assured residents he’s taking precautions to keep the community a safe place to play.

“We will be sanitizing … We go and sanitize every day,” he reported. “We wipe things down, and we have a certain process … We do it all the time.”