PLYMOUTH — The Three Rivers Park District was given an award of excellence from the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) for the newly remodeled French Regional Park play area, according to a June 10 news release.

The new play area was honored because of the Three Rivers Park District’s use of community voices, particularly from children, to develop a new playground, the release says.

Three Rivers Park District spent time engaging with a third-grade class from Park Brook Elementary in Brooklyn Park. They held workshops over a two-year period to gain insight from the children who would be using the play area. The redesign began in 2016 — the previous play area had been constructed in 1989.

One of the things staff learned during the workshops was that many people wanted to incorporate cargo nets, which were the biggest feature of the old playground.

The new park boasts water misters, a play area specifically for smaller children, seating around the play area and a shade umbrella on the patio. The playground includes six slides, 47 climbable nets, a 28-foot tower and a 12-foot slide, according to the Three Rivers Park District website.

The new park is also fully wheelchair accessible thanks to a new ramp that goes up to the second level.

The play area opened in August 2018. Three Rivers Park District held a summer kickoff on June 8, 2019, to celebrate the start of summer and invite community members to use the new play area.

The Three Rivers Park District also received an award of excellence for the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail, a 15-mile trail that runs through five cities.

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