Public Info

New Equipment Coming to the Loop Playground at Watchung Reservation

All new equipment will be installed at the Loop Playground in Union County’s Watchung Reservation in Mountainside this fall. The layout, shown here in a sample from the New Jersey company GameTime, will include wheelchair accessible equipment. (credit: Courtesy GameTime Playgrounds).


Union County, NJ – The popular Loop Playground at Union County’s Watchung Reservation in Mountainside is getting a makeover with all new climbing equipment and slides, along with the addition of flower-like misting devices and soft-impact rubber surfacing. Wheelchair accessible equipment is included in the new layout.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved the purchase and installation of the new equipment on July 28. The total cost of the project is $685,235. The Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund will provide $425,235 and the remaining $260,000 will come from the Union County capital budget.

Construction is expected to occur later this year or early next year.

“Playgrounds are taking on an important new role as we encourage families to help prevent childhood obesity by engaging in healthy outdoor activities,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Deborah Scanlon. “The Loop is a heavy-use area and the upgrade is needed to ensure that this popular playground continues to be a safe and attractive place for children.”

The Trust Fund was established in 2000 by popular referendum, in order to preserve open space and improve public recreation in Union County.

So far the Trust Fund has saved more than 300 acres of open space from development, including a unique urban reservoir in Clark and some of the last remaining farmsteads in the area.

Trust Fund monies have also gone to improve playgrounds and other facilities in both County and municipal parks, and to fund recreation scholarships for income-eligible children.

“Thanks to the foresight of voters who voted ‘yes’ for the Trust Fund ten years ago, even in these tough economic times we still have the means to keep improving the quality of life for all Union County residents,” said Scanlon. “It’s a matter of civic pride and a lasting legacy for future generations.”


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