PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)– With so many Peoria parks to choose from, kids and parents alike always return to Tricentennial in Peoria.
But things are soon going to change. The Peoria Park District has been considering spending $2 million to upgrade Glen Oak Park and make it more inclusive, but residents are conflicted.
“It’s a classic icon (Tricentennial Playground); every time I come here I just remember coming here in my childhood,” says Chelsea Brewer.
Brewer brings her children to Tricentennial and understands the need for updates, but is sad to see it go.
The goal is to have a fully inclusive playground ready in Glen Oak Park by the end of the year.
The park district will leave Tricentennial playground in place until the end of July, then begin demolitions and transition to installation.
Holli Coleman echoes Brewer’s sentiment. “There are a lot of steps and little hideout spots and I think that’s what’s cool about it, but I do understand that it needs to be accessible to everyone,” says Holli Coleman.
Executive director Emily Cahill says Tricentennial is past its end of life.
“As we look at our inventory of playgrounds across the Peoria Park District, we actually have 42 different playgrounds,” says Cahill. “None of them are fully inclusive.”
She says they will have ways to honor the memory and history of Tricentennial Playground. They also asked for community input and have two unique options.
Regardless, the nostalgia remains.
“Because there really isn’t a park like this that I’ve ever seen anywhere else, for mothers to be able to pass that tradition onto their children and have those memories, rebuild them with their family, I think is something that should be treasured,” Coleman says.