Downtown St. Louis City (Downtown West Neighborhood)
Bounded by 13th Street, Locust Street, 14th Street, and St. Charles Street
Amenities: playground, fitness equipment
Website: http://friendsoflucaspark.blogspot.com/ and http://stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/parks/parks/view-park.cfm?parkID=57&parkName=Lucas%20Gardens%20Park
Playground ground cover: wood chips
The playground and fitness equipment are new to Lucas Park within the past year. Both were built with the help of KaBOOM! grants and through lots of volunteer labor. The park is currently being updated and maintained through of group of downtown residents called Friends of Lucas Park.
Due to the fact that the park is currently in a transition phase, the only way to enter the park is from the corner of 13th Street and St. Charles Street (they've blocked off access to the park to break the pattern of illegal behavior which used to take place in this park - panhandling, stealing, public drinking, public urination and littering). They plan to have the park completely open from all directions by summer 2014, and have a plan in place to keep the illegal activity out of the park so that the downtown residents (and visitors to downtown) can enjoy the park. See the "Friends of Lucas Park" website above for more details on this plan.
We ventured to the city to visit the Central Library located across the street from Lucas Park and brought a picnic lunch to eat in the park. There is no where to sit in the park right now, as all benches have been removed to be repaired and also to combat the loitering and illegal activity that used to happen in the park. We had to eat our picnic on the ground (but if we'd thought to bring our picnic blanket it wouldn't have been a problem).
After our quick picnic lunch, we spent some time on the playground, which my 3 year old enjoyed. She especially liked the "ABC" ladder since we've been practicing letters a lot lately. The equipment is sized perfectly for preschool children - or young elementary children. There are 2 slides (one is a double slide), various ladders, and a tunnel on the play structure, as well as swings (2 baby swings, a sling swing and a board swing), a couple bouncy toys and a music area. The entire playground is shaded, which is a huge bonus!
At the other end of the block long park is fitness equipment for ages 5 and above. This is in full sun, but given that most people will use it in the morning or evening, the sun will likely not pose much of a problem.
Thank you to Kelly K with Friends of Lucas Park for contributions to this review.