STOW — Residents attending the recent Pizza Palooza were able to vote on playground equipment for the proposed playground at the Play for All Visioning event.

The city is proposing a playground and splash pad project for the seven-acre City Center location that will be paid for with donations. 

The Play for All Visioning event included a number of activities to help identify what types of features and amenities Stow residents want to see at the City Center project. The three core projects include playground equipment, splash pad features and programs and amenities. The survey was divided into categories of kids, teens, adults, seniors, unknown and then totals for all. 

Consultant Kate Widness reviewed the results of the Jan. 26 survey with the Playground Committee Feb. 5.

The feedback was positive, Widness said.Residents said they wanted a park and were tired of going to parks and activities in Hudson and Cuyahoga Falls. Parents asked the children about the equipment and looked at the displays. But there were lots of ways to interpret what they liked about each piece, she added. 

In the general questions, residents voted the splash pad as the most important feature and the central town park area was "very important" for the family. They also said socializing and inviting friends to activities at the City Center were "very important."

Amenities for the splash pad ranked night fountains as the highest with 213 votes out of nine categories while a water slide (92), splasher (89) and water cannons (87) were the next three top vote getters.

The playground has 12 categories of equipment with a large rope canopy the most popular with 222 votes. The large super tower slide came in second with 186 votes, and the large tree world (165), small access spinner (126), and medium cube climber (104) received more than 100 votes each.

Other amenities for the City Center site included a shade pavilion (135) and benches and tables (132) with outdoor fitness (92) ranked third out of 13 items listed.

Programs that residents would like to attend at the City Center included family night (152), movies and stars (135), ice cream social (134) and farmer’s market (125). Concert series (118) and art in the park (108) also received more than 100 votes in the list of 13 activities.

Denise Tonelli of the Playground Committee said that residents want a large component in the playground such as the large rope canopy or super tower slide.

"We should pick one piece first and build out from there," she said.

Tonelli said the committee should give residents choices between two items to determine a preference and why. The committee would like to create a theme based on the large component and add artistic elements from the Art Commission. Tonelli mentioned environmental art that could create a barrier such as a metal sculpture or a musical wall instead of a traditional fence.

The committee is asking the three companies, Park N Play; David Williams & Associates; and MidStates eEcreation, to return in the next couple of months with presentations specific to what residents have requested.

Mayor John Pribonic said they were working on donor packets and want cash in hand before anything is built. Maintenance would also be included over a three-year period in the fundraising. The park is also going to need a name that represents the city of Stow, Pribonic said.

Some residents have complained about the current parks not being maintained. Council members will review the budget and approve it by the end of March, which includes the parks funding and scheduled maintenance and projects.

The next Playground Committee meeting is scheduled for March 4 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. 

The committee members are Bruce Bach, Jenn Bernard, Sarah Haren, Kimmy Henderson, Deborah Luchka, Bernie Moxley, Cherie Schrengauer, Kari Suhadolink, Denise Tonelli, David Miller, Jonathan Leissler and Jennifer Coleman.

Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or lfreeman@recordpub.com