- Facility Listings
- Contact Us
- Board of Trustees
- Sponsorship Opportunities
- Strategic Plan
- Park Bench & OSPRI Updates
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Gift Cards
- FVPD Green Team
- Scholarship Program
- Park Foundation
- Public Notices
- Rules and Regulations
- Freedom of Information Act
- Eola Fitness Center
- Prisco Fitness Center
- Vaughan Fitness Center
Adventure play structure on horizon at Blackberry Farm
Posted March 15, 2012
AURORA – The future is about to arrive at historic Blackberry Farm with construction of a uniquely innovative adventure play structure expected to be complete by early October.
The customized play structure will feature an extensive network of climbing decks, slides, ropes and catwalk-style bridges connecting an array of playhouses on multiple levels.
“This adventure playground will be a premiere attraction,” said Jeff Palmquist, director of planning, development and grants. “It’s an exciting project that will stand as the pinnacle of the Phase I improvement plan to give Blackberry Farm a modern makeover.”
On Monday, the Fox Valley Park District Board of Trustees awarded a $793,020 contract to R.C. Wegman Construction Company of Aurora and Daniels Wood Land, Inc. of Paso Robles, Cal. for final design and construction services.
Palmquist said the elaborate play structure will appeal to children of all ages while providing a one-of-a-kind experience through education, history and physical fun.
“Most children have never experienced something like this,” said Palmquist. “It is a unique combination of interactive features; a hands-on farm museum integrated into a custom play structure where children go from deck-to-deck answering questions and learning about the history of pioneer life.”
The project highlights an all-encompassing master plan at 43-year-old Blackberry Farm that also includes a new, 2,500-square-foot picnic shelter that will serve as a performance stage for live entertainment. A new restroom building will be constructed near the performance shelter. Nearby, on the shore of Lake Gregory, a new boathouse shelter/pavilion and dock will be built to accommodate paddle boats.
The master plan for Blackberry Farm was created through a process that included extensive staff input, user surveys and a series of open house forums to gather public feedback.
The play structure will be created and constructed in California, then disassembled and shipped to Blackberry Farm for R.C. Wegman to install. Daniels Wood Land has worked for numerous high-profile clients, including Walt Disney Pictures, Universal, ABC (Extreme Makeover Home Edition and Good Morning America), the Bellagio Las Vegas and the Memphis Botanic Garden.
Rated among Aurora’s top five tourist destinations, Blackberry Farm attracts more than 60,000 visitors on an annual basis.
The adventure play structure project is part of the District’s 2008 Open Space, Park and Recreation Investment (OSPRI) plan that utilizes referendum funds for community park improvements.