Get our newsletters

Quakertown makes start on bigger and better playground

Joe Ferry

For 27 years, Panther Playground provided thousands of kids in the Quakertown area and beyond with a fun place to burn off their youthful energy.

But with the passage of time, the massive, mostly wooden structure built by hundreds of volunteers over five days in May 1993 deteriorated to the point where it became a safety hazard, forcing the borough to demolish it last year.

Even as the playground was nearing the end of its useful life, however, borough officials were making plans for an even bigger and better playground to provide youngsters of all ages and abilities with another place to slay imaginary dragons and track down all sorts of evildoers.

Last week, those plans took a major step toward reality with a ceremonial groundbreaking and an official name: QuiNBy’s Playground at Memorial Park, thanks to a $250,000 naming rights sponsorship from QNB Bank.

To meet the $1 million estimated total cost, the borough kicked in $500,000, the state provided a $250,000 grant, and St. Luke’s Health Network added $10,000 to sponsor the swing set. Robert Ganter Contractors Inc, Nexus Financial, Maye Dental Associates, and Calvary Church have all committed to this project.

The rest of the money is expected to come from individual donations, including a “Buy a Brick” program, although some equipment sponsorships are still available.

“This type of collaboration between private and public sectors enhances the quality of our community and brings cultural dimensions to our parks system,” said Borough Council President Don Rosenberger. “The Borough is committed to providing the community and surrounding areas with a safe, modern playground with a longer lifespan for lasting memories.”

Construction on QuiNBy’s Playground is expected to begin in the next few months – weather permitting – and is expected to open to the public this fall.
Designed by Kompan Inc. with input from local youngsters who was asked to “dream and design their ultimate playground,” according to Rosenberger, it will be an all-inclusive and multigenerational playground that allows individuals of all ages and abilities an equal opportunity to play, with designated areas for both elementary school-age (5-12) and preschool-age children.

For older kids, the focal point will be a towering, nearly three-story-tall castle that is jam-packed with physical and cognitive play activities. The area also features a 155-foot net obstacle course, pendulum swing, and multiple carousels.

The area for younger kids will feature a smaller scale tower that will allow children to prepare for the school-aged area. This area also features swings, a seesaw, and springers.

The footprint of QuiNBy’s Playground will be the same as the former Panther Playground; however, it has been moved north of where the former playground stood to get it out of the flood zone.

“QNB is proud to be the lead sponsor of QuiNBy’s Playground,” said bank President Dave Freeman. “As a community bank, we are only as strong as the community we serve. Everything QNB does to strengthen the community, only comes back and strengthens us, which is why we are particularly involved in our home community, Quakertown.”

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.