Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fort Medford at Bob Meyer Park

Location: 2 Commonwealth Rd. (Off Gravelly Hollow Rd), Medford
Bathrooms: Yes
Eating area: YES 
Attractions: Native American themed playground,Basketball courts, baseball/softball fields
Wheelchair Accessible Playground: YES

Click on any of the pictures for a closer view!

After being cooped up in the house due to Hurricane Irene, we were all itching to get out and play outside without wind, water, and threats of tornadoes! Thankfully, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day to explore the Fort Medford playground and the new wheelchair accessible playground at Bob Meyer Memorial Park.

Fort Medford is actually two playgrounds in one. The first is the original Fort Medford, a Native American themed wooden playground complete with teepees, totem poles,and Native American decor. The other is the "J and I Samost", the more recent and modern wheelchair accessible playground. Both playgrounds will occupy your children for HOURS!

Fort Medford

Fort Medford is the wooden playground with lots of nooks and crannies for your children to hide.  My son hid so well that I grew a little frantic when he didn't answer my calls. Finally, he emerged from his "best hiding place, ever!"

My kids LOVED the large sandbox (note to self...next time bring sand toys!). There is another sandbox in the handicap accessible playground as well.   Off of the sandbox area is a place called "Tot Corral" where the baby swings reside and an additional fenced in area for the little ones.

 The teepees were a hit! The kids were playing "house" and pretending to cook and had fun eating their snacks inside like it was a tent!

 The kids had so much fun on the numerous slides, the wooden bridges, the hidden tire swing, rockin' canoe, and so many other areas! I think the sign on one part of the playground says it all, this is a playground where your kids will become explorers and discover a whole new world of fun!

J and I Samost Wheelchair Accessible Playground

To the left of Fort Medford you will find "Burlington County's First 100% Handicapped Accessible Playground" with its large wide ramps, special swings, easily accessible equipment at various heights, and rubberized surface that is good for wheelchairs, walkers, and kids falling down! This is truly a park where kids of all abilities can play together.

My kids had ball with the various rock walls, the sandbox, the sway chair, and making music on the drums! Another really cute addition is a hidden puppet show area. Another note to self...bring toys for the kids to put on shows!

 Click on the collage for a larger view

At this area of the playground you will also find the covered pavilion with several picnic tables set up.  It was the perfect place to have snack/lunch and to take cover from the sun! A little bit behind this playground is a path leading to the bathrooms.  When we went, the bathrooms were locked, however, I am assured by several of the moms present at the park that day, that the bathrooms are usually open. 

The covered pavilion, great for playdates and birthday parties!

My only complaint was the maintenance of the park. It and the surrounding fields, are in need of a good mowing, weed picking, new mulch and a general clean up. It always saddens me to see awesome playgrounds, that must have cost a good penny, to go into disrepair. After talking to several moms at the park, they had said this has been brought up several times, yet nothing has been done. One mom said that someone had come out to pick the weeds, yet a large pile of those weeds was still in view and within reach of the kids.  I know towns are facing budget woes, but the cost of letting a playground fall into ruin, seems to me, more costly than putting forth daily maintenance. I will be visiting again and will hope to report that the playground has been attended to and refreshed. Should this keep you from playing at this playground? No, but maybe if more people bring this to the attention of the powers that be, maybe something will be done.

  • Bring sand toys.  The sandboxes are a big hit and your kids could play in them for hours with some toys, buckets and shovels.
  • Bring puppets or stuffed animals and have the kids put on a show at the puppet show area
  • There are plenty of picnic tables and seating for a birthday party, but you will need to check with the Medford Parks and Recreation for information on possible reservations.
  • Bring sunscreen...most of the playground is in the sun
  • Don't forge the wipes...I did! My kids were playing in sandbox and were very sandy. Wish I had wipes to clean them and their clothes a little.
  • Bring a bat, and any ball and play in the fields (if not in use)
See you at the Fort!


david_4325@msn.com said...

The Fort Medford park looks like fun. Because of all the wood, what was going through my mind is SPLINTERS. Scary that you couldn't find your son for some time. Also uncomfortable not being able to use the bathroom. Looked like a day full of adventure. Thanks for sharing!


Maureen said...

Surprisingly enough, we haven't had to worry much about splinters in just about all of the wood playgrounds. It was very scary...but I was more mad! Not using the bathroom...yes a problem but we had a lesson on peeing in the woods! It was a great day!

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