Nature Playscape

Forest Park Cone Flower

Yesterday, we drove to Forest Park, for a new variation on our walk within this park. Because the golf course is now open again for golfing, our regular parkour is now a no go. Instead, we drove to the southwest corner of the park, the city’s highpoint. We walked around the zoo, peering in through all of the foliage gaps, which with everything all leafed out, are few and far between. Needing more steps than just around the zoo would give us, we decided to explore a new site of construction that has been worked all year. I had thought that the work was mundane bathrooms and picnic shelters maintenance, but I was surprised to learn that a new playground is being built, Nature Playscape.

Nature Playscape is a 17 acre development that is located between the World’s Fair Pavilion and the Jewel Box. This is an area of the park that has not seen any real use as far as I know. Construction costs are $4.5M and as its name implies, it will be a natural playground, with eight different activity areas, each modeled after a local biome. Examples include meadows, wetlands, springs, bottomlands, mounds and various types of forests. Instead of using conventional playground equipment, rocks and sculpted tree trunks will serve as climbing obstacles. Nature Playscape is scheduled to be finished later this year, but with all other playgrounds closed, it is uncertain when it will actually open to the public.

Today is Election Day and we had voted by mail over a week ago, but the county website that we checked said that our ballots hadn’t been returned. We decided to check on this in person, but we left home without really checking out where our polling place was. The last time I voted, our normal polling place had been closed and I voted at the Masonry Institute, which is not affiliated with any secret societies, but is rather a trades group organization. Come to think about it, isn’t that how the Masons got started too? Can you say schism?

Anyway, we hiked over there only to find no joy and no polling place either. A google search determined that our poll was back where it is normally, at the Heights. It turns out that it had been moved for the last election, because the Heights had been undergoing renovations. So, we headed over there next. Bonus steps! Walking there, we passed two of the new developments that are the main source of contention in our mayor’s race. Both the sitting mayor and his opponent were outside electioneering and Anne dealt with them, while I went inside to verify that our ballots had been received. I ended up getting the oldest, slowest election official in the house, but she was able to eventually verify my vote. We just assumed then that Anne’s ballot had also made it back too. 

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