Completed main play structure. Photo by Dan Solovitz
Meadow Grass Park gets new playground

In mid-September, many residents of the Meadow Grass neighborhood noticed that the hilltop playground next to the Cottage Grove water tower had been removed. Situated in the northwest corner of 70th Street South and Meadow Grass Lane South, the familiar Meadow Grass Park fixture was suddenly gone. In its place lay a plot of freshly flattened dirt and a pile of large shipping boxes full of new playground equipment in factory wrapping.

In the following weeks, neighborhood children watched as workers operating backhoes, skid steers, dump trucks and other construction equipment came and went, leaving new signs of progress each day. First came the support posts for the main play structure. Then came the frame of the swing set. Finally, a new outline was laid around the entire area; curbing formwork to eventually be filled with concrete.

Residents and children waited, watching for the caution tape to be removed from around the equipment. Nearly five weeks into the project, the finishing touches were made; the swings lowered, temporary supports removed, freshly-laid woodchips smoothed over, and no more caution tape. The brand-new playground, ready for all to enjoy, was opened on Oct 25.

Featuring a taller main play station, slides, swings, a rope climbing matrix, and new agility-focused climbing ladders, the playground aims to please. While not the largest playground in the city, it is now the newest, and it shows in the sunlight atop the hill in Meadow Grass Park.

Cottage Grove schedules all playgrounds for replacement every 20 years through the Capital Improvements Plan. Approved in the fall of 2021 with the help of the city’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Commission at a cost of $50,000, it was funded through the Park Improvement Fund, which comes from cellular phone antennae lease agreements on the city’s water towers.

Shipping containers filled with new playground equipment to be later installed.

Photo by Dan Solovitz.

Completed playground from the west. Photo by Dan Solovitz

Meadow Grass Park playground on Sept 20 after demolition.Photo by Dan Solovitz.

November 2, 2022