The spring thaw will bring new improvements to a favorite Ann Arbor Park.
Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Park Planner Jeff Dehring says Phase II improvements at County Farm Park are set to begin this spring and will further enhance what has already been done.
The Parks and Recreation Department is very excited to begin the project. Dehring says there are five primary improvements to be made in Phase II. They are: define and enhance the parks eastern pedestrian entry point, improve the entry path, the placement of an information kiosk, further improvement of the playground and bringing back the parks beloved "pigs."
The eastern pedestrian entry way will have a gateway arch put in along with a new accessible asphalt entry path. Dehring says the arch will incorporate several design elements from existing structures around the park. The gateway area will be further defined with planting beds, boulder retaining walls and special surface treatments.
The entry path will also be realigned to give it a more "prominent appearance." In addition, the old limestone path will be removed and recycled. The path will be re-graded and converted to a vegetative bio-swale. This will help absorb or transport runoff-water to a detention area.
An information kiosk will be placed along the path near the playground. It will have maps and wayfinding signage. This location will also give some general park information, announcements and an historical perspective of the site.
Dehring says the playground is a great place for children, but it will further be enhanced to give children ages 2-5 a chance to enjoy it. Playground additions will include a tractor-style play structure, bumblebee and horse-figure spring riders, a playhouse and straw bale climber unit. It will not be actual straw, but rather a material will be used that looks like straw. Dehring says the entire play surface area around these new elements will be covered with a turf-type surfacing that takes into consideration the safety of the crawling children.
Another safety and comfort addition to the play area will be two large shade structures. These areas will cover the areas exposed to full sunlight. Dehring says the canopies have a spread of 25 feet and complement the park's garden environment by being shaped like a flower and butterfly.
The last improvement will be the re-introduction of the famed bronze pigs that were removed several years ago. The bronze pig family will be placed inside of a wire-mesh fence enclosure. Contact will be limited, but Dehring says visitors will still love the sight of the pig family as they enjoy the play area.
Phase II expects to be completed later this summer. However, Dehring hopes Ann Arbor families come enjoy the park and see how the improvements are coming along.
County Farm Park is located at the southwest corner of Washtenaw Avenue and Platt Road. There are two entrances: one off of Platt and one off of Medford Rd.