March 26, 2019

GameTime Grant Brings New Playground to Illinois Park

Modern Play for Historic Park

Children and families in Dixon, Illinois are preparing for a new place to play thanks to an education and funding initiative from Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) and GameTime. Officials from the Dixon Park District recently attended an IPRA professional development symposium presented by PlayCore. The session shared best practices and research-based ideas for creating multigenerational play and recreation spaces. During the workshop, officials learned about a matching funds program created by IPRA and GameTime. They submitted an application for grant funds and were awarded more than $50,000 toward the construction of a new playground.

The site for the new play area is Historic Lowell Park. Lowell Park is on the National Register of Historic Places. President Ronald Reagan spent his summers here as a lifeguard and reminisced on how much influence the experiences here had on him. For decades this park has been a place where families gather to enjoy hiking, biking, boating and more. Soon, they can add "soaring" and "spinning" to the list of park activities.

Designed by Cunningham Recreation, the exclusive representative for GameTime in Illinois, the playground includes GameTime's SkyRun® Zipline - a 75-foot long thrill ride that allows riders to soar along the playground. There is also an inclusive whirl called Merry-Go-All with high back seats at transfer height for people of all abilities. There will also be a traditional play structure with lots of climbers, slides and interactive activities, along with swings for children of all ages.

Parks District Executive Director Duane Long is excited about the new additions to Lowell Park. He said, "The zip line is a brand new item for our playgrounds, and it’s the longest one they offer. We’re very excited, and it’s a great thing for the Park District.”

The new playground will be located in the lower part of the park with views of the river. It should be ready this summer for residents to begin creating new memories that last a lifetime.