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Eatontown playground expected to serve adults, children of all abilities

EATONTOWN — A planned playground in Eatontown that is intended for use by adults and children of all abilities has received $250,000 to assist in its construction.

Challenger Playground is planned to be constructed on 80 Acres Park and will be installed in an area totaling 4,500 square feet.

According to Mayor Anthony Talerico Jr., the site’s design includes playground pieces that will create a play area for adults and children of all abilities.

It is anticipated that 21 play activities that meet or exceed playground safety standards and conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act’s accessibility guidelines will comprise Challenger Playground.

The site will also have benches and picnic tables, according to Talerico, who said, “Equipment pieces in the design address the whole child and the whole community.”

To assist with the creation of the playground, the Eatontown Lions Club has donated $90,000 toward its construction. The club received a $160,000 grant from the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners for Challenger Playground, bringing the funding to $250,000.

“The Lions believe children with a developmental or other disability should have the same opportunity to enjoy safe and healthy playground experiences as those without a disability,” the club’s directors wrote in an online statement. “(The playground) will be centrally located to support children of six municipalities with a population of over 74,000.”

Construction of the playground was initially intended to take place in two phases, but Talerico said the playground will now be constructed in one phase.

According to the mayor, Eatontown officials have ordered the pieces for the playground, but due to current supply chain issues and colder weather which will prevent the special surface of the playground from being poured, the playground’s installation is not anticipated to take place until the spring of 2023.

“The borough is delighted to receive the generous donation of $250,000 from the Eatontown Lions Club,” Talerico said. “The club has a decades-long history of charity and service to the town. We thank the Lions for their continued generosity as we welcome this great addition to our park system. The borough recognizes the importance of providing all-abilities equipment, so as we need to replace and add equipment to all of our parks, it will be done with this in mind.”

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