Firth Park and Glenn Meadows Park playgrounds open for play

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: The new playground rubberized surfacing is installed and ready to be used at Glenn Meadows Park (pictured) and Firth Park.

La Tierra Park upgrades nearly ready to open

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – The cold weather is lifting and the upgrades to two of Safford’s biggest parks have just been completed in time for the onrush of activity. 

The installation of rubberized square mat flooring at Firth Park and Glenn Meadows Park is complete and the playground areas are back in business. 

The renovation is part of the city’s plan to make more areas compliant with the ADA. It installed rubberized mat surfacing that comes with a 10-year guarantee but is expected to last longer. The mats come in squares and are adhered to a concrete base.  

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Scarlett Ruiz, 4, has a soft landing after utilizing a slide at Glenn Meadows Park.

The change from sand to rubberized surfacing comes as great news for one local mom. 

“We don’t track anything home now,” said Alecs Ruiz. “It’s easier to spot if something has been dropped and identify any dangers so the kids don’t find any hidden candies that have been dropped. I think it’s a lot safer and cleaner.”

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Cousins, from left, Marley, 3, and Scarlett Ruiz, 4, said they like the new rubberized surface a lot better than the sand that was previously there.

Ruiz’s 4-year-old daughter, Scarlett Ruiz, agreed. Scarlett usually prefers playing at the playground barefoot and previously the sand could irritate her feet and sometimes goat head stickers would find their way there as well. 

Ron Cox Builders, LLC, of Thatcher, was contracted to perform the renovation for $222,577. The project is being paid for by the city’s share of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. 

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: La Tierra Park will also have the same rubberized surface.

La Tierra Park

The new addition of a playground at La Tierra Park between 22nd Street and 24th Street off 8th Avenue recently received its shade structure and is expected to have its rubberized surfacing completed this week. 

The park is also getting new sidewalks to connect the existing and new amenities, and the city continues to proceed with that project. 

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: A city of Safford employee grades the dirt to prepare for the installation of a sidewalk at La Tierra Park.
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