Dozens of children flock to Clarke House Playground during its grand opening

Popular hub of Orange Park reopens following major overhaul

By Wesley LeBlanc wesley@opcfla.com
Posted 9/8/21

ORANGE PARK – The new Clarke House Park Playground is officially open and it was welcomed by more than 100 people to its slides, ziplines, swings and more last Friday.

Clarke House Park is a …

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Dozens of children flock to Clarke House Playground during its grand opening

Popular hub of Orange Park reopens following major overhaul

Posted

ORANGE PARK – The new Clarke House Park Playground is officially open and it was welcomed by more than 100 people to its slides, ziplines, swings and more last Friday.

Clarke House Park is a beloved part of Orange Park. For many, it’s the first thing that comes to mind when they think of the town. The playground at the park, though, had seen better days, so the Orange Park Town Council decided it was in need of a facelift. The town went a step further and tasked Orange Park residents with helping them create a new playground that would be built from the ground up.

“We’re so thankful to the 805 residents that took the survey to help us determine which of three park designs we should build,” Orange Park mayor Randy Anderson said. “This is your park. It’s an outstanding design and we’re so excited for friends and families to enjoy the park for years and years to come.”

The opening ceremony was short – Anderson only spoke for a couple of minutes, but that was a smart move. He had dozens of children standing before him excited to get into the park. He thanked residents and expressed his gratitude for the work of the town employees like Emily Dockery that kept this park on track through several delays. He also thanked the people behind the park’s design.

And then it was time. Anderson and an excited child cut the ribbon to the park’s entrance and dozens of children flooded into their new favorite park.

“I have two kids and they’ve asked me about this non-stop all summer,” Orange Park parent Chrissy Clark said. “We love this park. We were always at the old one so when it disappeared, we started going to other parks but they weren’t the same. We’re so excited this park is open.”

Clark said she checked her children out of school early so they could attend the grand opening. That’s how excited they were for this, she said.

The new Clarke House Park Playground isn’t just a win for the town, but for all of Clay County. That’s because anytime something like this opens in Clay County, it becomes another bullet point on the county’s list of fun things to do when visiting.

“Anytime you add something new and unique to Clay County like this, it’s a win for the county’s tourism,” Clay County tourism director Kimberly Morgan said. “This park is quite literally a taste of Clay County because the residents here actually helped create it. Today’s a win for residents and tourism alike.”

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