This is what the new playground at Redwood Park will look like (kinda) | Images/ photos from the City of Arcata, except where noted


If you’re a parent, you know how kids get when they can’t go to their favorite playground. So those who frequent Redwood Park will be happy to know that the park’s new playground equipment is on its way and should be ready to be climbed on by rambunctious children before the end of October. 

Emily Sinkhorn, environmental services director for the City of Arcata, told the Outpost that the Redwood Park Playground Improvement Project is right on track, with the repaving nearly done and the playground surfacing and equipment expected to be installed on the week of Oct. 9. 

The City has been planning these improvements for a while now, and you might remember that last year the community was asked to weigh in on the new playground design through an online survey. Out of the eight different options, the theme that gained the most votes was “castle adventures,” and after taking the survey results to the Parks and Recreation Committee and gathering the committee’s feedback, city staff worked with contracting firm Miracle Playsystems to come up with a castle-themed playground that would work for the park. 

What the park looks like right now | Photo: Stephanie McGeary

Once complete, the playground will include two new play structures – one for 2 through 5-year-olds and a larger structure for five to 12-year-olds – as well as a new swingset, a spinneround and an inclusive whirl, which is one of those ground-level spinning circles that is accessible for people in wheelchairs. The playground will be resurfaced with unitary surfacing, which is soft, shock-absorbent and wheelchair accessible. The surfacing includes a river design with three-dimensional fish and rock sculptures sticking out. 

The project also includes the installation of a pump track – a special type of track for wheeled sports equipment that doesn’t require pushing or pedaling, but rather a pumping motion, to maintain momentum. The tracks include a series of rollers, which are the bumps in the track, and berms, which are the curved corners of the track. The track was designed with help from the Redwood Coast Mountain Biking Association and is similar to the pump track in Fortuna’s Newburg Park. Sinkhorn said the track is also expected to be complete in October and has already been built, but still needs to be paved. 

Sinkhorn wanted to thank families for their patience through this process (she knows how much kids love their playgrounds) and is glad that there are a lot of other neighborhood parks in Arcata where people can take kids to play. 

Above: the pump track in process at Redwood Park. Below: the complete pump track in Fortuna

Of course, there is something special about Redwood Park and its setting among the beautiful redwood trees of the Arcata Community Forest, and Sinkhorn said she is very excited to have the playground accessible to the public again. 

“We’re really excited to unveil the results,” Sinkhorn said, adding that there will be an announcement and probably a ceremony as soon as the playground is ready to reopen next month.

Scroll down for more image renderings of the future playground and/ or view the full design plans here