Total Renovation For Hagert Playground

A reader reached out to us the other day, wondering about some ongoing construction on the 2000 block of E. Hagert which stretched all the way to E. Boston Street. Thinking that a large residential project was underway, we went to take a look. But we quickly realized that this was not a major residential project, but instead a major renovation effort at the Hagert Playground.

In the past
Current view

Back in 2014, the Friends of Hagert Playground got together with the Community Design Collaborative to consider renovation options for the site. The CDC opined that the park was “neat and functional, but a bit bleak.” Though it offered amenities like a spray pool, a basketball court, and two play areas, the playground was entirely paved and had hardly any trees. Not only was this a problem from a shade perspective, but it was also terrible in terms of stormwater management.

Colaborating with the CDC and EKNA, the friends group came up with design changes to improve the aesthetics and the functionality of the playground. They decided to move the fences closer to the center the site, creating sitting areas on both sides with associated green space. The playground area is also redone in the plan, with separate play areas for little kids and big kids. Each of the playground areas are surrounded by rain gardens as well. Throw in a pergola and some additional seating in the middle, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful new space. We found the site plan below online, but we couldn’t tell you whether it corresponds to the final design that’s now moving forward.

Site plan which may or may not still apply

Whether or not the final design corresponds to the above site plan, this renovation effort is sure to represent a massive improvement for this little neighborhood playground. People meet their neighbors in these types of public spaces, forging relationships and creating a more closely knit community. A renovated Hagert Playground will surely be a source of pride for near neighbors and all of East Kensington, and we look forward to seeing the finished product, hopefully around the time the weather warms up.