Wheeling Working on More Recreation, Playgrounds


Staff Writer

WHEELING — If you’re in the city of Wheeling, Jesse Mestrovic said you should be able to walk to at least one of the 22 playgrounds within 10 minutes.

Moving through 2018 and beyond, Mestrovic wants to make sure those playgrounds are as safe, up-to-date, and just plain old fun as possible.

“It means quality of life. It means health and wellness. It means community pride. “ Mestrovic, Wheeling director of Parks & Strategic Planning, said regarding the benefits of improving playgrounds and recreational facilities.

In 2017, the city completed work at Jenson Playground on Wheeling Island, Wilson Playground in North Wheeling, the 25th Street Playground, the Grandview Street Playground, the Mozart Playground, the Patterson Playground in Elm Grove and the Bridge Park Playground on Wheeling Island.

The city also opened a new disc golf course at the Wheeling Island Marina. For this game, all one needs to bring to the course are his or her discs. To participate, one simply tosses the disc toward the goal.

If the disc falls somewhere other than in the goal, the player should then again toss it toward the goal from the spot where the disc landed.

“In all, I spent about $250,000 last year,” Mestrovic said of the 2017 work.

Along with playgrounds, refurbished basketball and tennis courts are coming up throughout the city, as those in neighborhoods are seeing new playing surfaces for the first time in decades. City officials have devoted both general fund revenue, as well as federal Community Development Block Grant money, to building the new recreation infrastructure.

This year, Mestrovic said there will likely be more work at the playgrounds that got new equipment last year. This includes amenities such as top soil, landscaping, benches and picnic tables.

Within a few months, Mestrovic hopes to open the new $100,000 Garden Park Playground in Warwood. He also said the communities of Greggsville and Fulton should see improvements this year.

“I am constantly working with donors and foundations to try to match our money,” Mestrovic said. “I’m also looking for ways to recycle or rehabilitate equipment that can be reused.”

Mestrovic admits there have been some challenges, specifically, when it comes to closing and removing a playground that children are still using.

“In some areas, we have to remove old equipment because it is not safe for the kids anymore. We are working to replace this as quickly as we can,” he added.


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