DOLLIVER PARK PLAYGROUND IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
WINTER STORM CAUSES MAJOR DAMAGE TO NEW PLAYGROUND (April 2023)
Sadly, after just three months of opening, a large oak tree fell due to severe wind and rain and caused serious damage to the new play structure. Thankfully no one was injured but the playground has been temporarily decommissioned.
The playground will be rebuilt but it will take a little time so that it can be done safely. The manufacturer (Kompan) has been wonderful about giving the City a deep discount and fast-tracking the project, but even still, there is a 3 month lead time. The current reopening plan has three stages:
- Stage 1 is to identify and remove any other trees that may be in danger of falling. A professional arborist has identified about a dozen bay and oak trees that are removal candidates. The City has contracted with a tree removal company to start the removal work. Some of the trees have been removed, but not all as yet;
- Stage 2 is to remove the damaged play structure (completed @4/20/23) and fix the fence. The tot playground will have a "mini" reopening -- kids can play on the crawl-thru log and playhouse. The temporary empty space can serve as an open area for running and free play;
- Stage 3 will be to reinstall the large play structure after the replacement parts arrive. This will probably happen in early summer.
Your patience and understanding is appreciated while we work to get the new playground fully restored in the safest way possible.
DOLLIVER TOT ZONE PLAYGROUND OPEN (December 2022)
The long awaited and anticipated Tot Zone at Dolliver Playground is now open! Crews worked through the cold and damp to get the playground open for the winter holidays. Early reports from the community is that the kids LOVE the new play events. And just as importantly, caretakers LOVE the new fence which lets them relax knowing their children are safety contained within!. The new playground has become a gathering space for young families to meet, mingle and play.
A big THANK YOU to a Larkspur family whose generous private donation by this playground possible. Additional funding from County of Marin Parks Measure A and State of California Prop 68 programs were made possible by California tax payers, just like you!
CITY COUNCIL APPROVES DESIGN AND AUTHORIZES CONSTRUCTION BIDDING (April 2022)
Based on the recommendation from the Park & Rec Commission, the final design for the Dolliver Park playground improvements was approved by the City Council at its April 6, 2022 meeting. The Council also authorized staff to solicit bids from contractors. View the full set of plans for both the work at Dolliver Park and at Greenbrae School Park where the metal climber from Dolliver Park will be relocated..
PRELIMINARY DESIGN GETS NOD FROM PARK & RECREATION COMMISSIONERS (September 2021)
At the Sept. 16, 2021 meeting of the Park & Recreation Commission, these actions were taken:
- results from the community outreach efforts were presented, showing strong support for the creation of the new Tot Play Zone;
- the preliminary design for the new Tot Play Zone was presented to by the Commissioners;
- staff received recommendation from the Commissioners to proceed with the finalization of the design.
- read the Staff Report and view the Preliminary Design
Dolliver Park's metal climber moving to Greenbrae School Park!
Creating a robust tot play zone necessitated the removal of the existing metal climber (monkey bars). While staff is loathe to take amenities away, in this case, the removal of the climber allowed for a much safer, richer and diverse play experience for the younger playground users. The reasoning behind the decision can be viewed here.
The climber will be removed during installation of the new play equipment and relocated to Greenbrae School Park. If you're missing this old friend, please go by and say hello!
CREATION OF NEW "TOT PLAY ZONE" CONCEPT MOVES FORWARD (August 2021)
Staff received recommendation at the July 29, 2021 Park & Rec Commission meeting to explore plans to add a new play area for children under 5 years old.
Currently, the playground lacks play equipment that children under 5 can play on independently. The Tot Swings require an adult to help the child into the bucket seats to use.
The play structure, the ground spinner, and the climber are too complex and too large in scale for younger kids, requiring motor and cognitive skills they haven't yet fully developed. Caretakers routinely allow their tots up on equipment designed for older children because no alternatives are available.
The playground experience would be much richer and more enjoyable if adults need not be on constant alert and the children could play and explore at their own pace.
The creation of the proposed "Tot Play Zone" would include new play equipment that is specifically designed for children under 5 years old. A see-thru safety fence to enclose the tot play area would be installed along with several benches.
Relax and Play
The proposed Tot Play Zone is envisioned to be a place where:
- younger children can enjoy playing on equipment that is scaled just for them;
- play for tots is more rewarding with many things they can do without needing help from adults;
- caretakers can relax knowing that a safety fence will keep small children from wandering off;
- families with little ones can meet and gather easily at a single location.
Community Feedback Sought
So far, nothing is set in stone. City staff sees this project as a way to fill a void in the current playground configuration for families with young children. The City is very fortunate that an opportunity of this magnitude is available through the private donation of a single Larkspur resident.
The project is currently in the planning stage and being evaluated. The purpose of the online survey is to gauge the level of community support before a playground design is completed.
Assuming there is community support for the project, a draft playground design will be presented at the Park & Rec Commission meeting on Sep. 16, 2021 for review and discussion. You are encouraged to attend this meeting.
CHANGES TO DOLLIVER PARK PLAYGROUND BEING CONSIDERED (July 2021)
Thanks to a generous private donation from a Larkspur citizen, the City has an opportunity to fill a need at the playground in Dolliver Park (aka Dark Park). Being considered is the creation of play area specifically for children under 5 years old.