Unhappy with Twin Lakes playground

Posted: Friday, June 08, 2007

What I am about to write will not be very well received by many in this community, but the more I have discussed this with people, the more I feel I am not alone in my opinion.

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I lived in the Twin Lakes area for about three years. Every morning, I would walk on the trail and enjoy the incredible beauty. I loved the expanse of green where children would play Frisbee, softball, soccer or just run up and down the hills, using their imaginations. Granted, the playground equipment wasn't much, but it was well-used.

Having lived mostly in Juneau for a period of 27 years, I know there are small neighborhood parks around here that are not in much use, due to a lack of maintenance.

When it was announced a group was going to build a playground at Twin Lakes, I had my doubts. Why take the one big green area around here and fill it up? Why not improve or create more useable neighborhood parks?

But everyone was touting how great this was going to be because the kids were going to design it and it was going to be built with volunteer labor.

I moved away from the Twin Lakes area last December. I didn't watch very closely the project's progress in May.

On May 26, I was driving down Egan, and what I saw almost made me vomit. What I saw was Orlando North. We already have "Juneauland" downtown. Why do we need this abomination in an otherwise beautiful natural setting? The "Ice Castle" looks as out of place as if you had taken the "Magic Castle" (or whatever it's called) straight out of Orange County and plunked it down on the hill. Maybe children designed it, but cooler heads (so-called adults) should have prevailed.

What is happening to Juneau? It never used to be like this. I realize we need more places for children to play, but why destroy the natural beauty of a wonderful park to do it? Juneau is a gorgeous place. I pictured the playground as tubes and slides and swings, not all pointy-roofed buildings that look dangerous and evil.

I was talking to a friend, and he brought up the point that by summer's end the whole place will probably be vandalized, which is sad. But by then, the kids would most likely be sick of it.

Lauren M. Swift


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