Playgrounds in Bayfield – 3 Ways to Help Make Them Better for the Whole Family
Bayfield is a standout vacation destination. This quaint little town on Lake Superior’s shores has all the charm you're looking for when coming for a weekend getaway or longer.
Unfortunately, our playgrounds in Bayfield are another story.
Established in 1856, this little town of 584 people was once bustling with industry. It was even promoted as becoming the new Chicago. Those dreams came and went, but Bayfield’s beauty has not.
Bayfield’s historic preservation of cobblestone streets, ornamental street lamps, and historic buildings makes it all the more inviting. Plus, it's the best way to access the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, with the largest concentration of historic lighthouses.
Bayfield boasts an extensive list of outdoor recreation activities like:
… and so much more.
What we're not so proud of is the state of deterioration found within our city playgrounds.
One of my favorite things to do is gather the boys and stroll into town to visit one of the playgrounds in Bayfield. We usually do this after our guests have checked in at Seagull Bay and have gotten dinner on the table for our family. They love burning off some energy in the playground before going to bed.
We put Banks in the stroller while Axel and Ridge walk alongside us into town to play at one of Bayfield's playgrounds. Let’s dive into the different playgrounds in Bayfield.
Cooper Hill Park
Cooper Hill Park, nicknamed The Red Park, is located atop the big hill of Manypenny Avenue, directly across from the Bayfield Lutheran church.
Its wooden structures, built in the 1990s, spark our boys' imaginations. We spend hours playing by:
Making obstacle courses
Walking over the suspended balance beam
Swinging on the ropes
Pretending to be a train engineer
Driving trucks in the sandbox
But over the years, the weather has taken its toll on these structures. The rain and snow have left their mark, rotting portions of the structures, deeming them no longer safe for play.
We’ve experienced slivers, tears, cuts, and scrapes. Of course, some of our injuries would happen regardless of whether we were playing at the playgrounds in Bayfield or in the safety of our home. That's kids being kids.
But when playground equipment is a safety hazard, something needs to change.
A group of parents and I have joined forces with the city to fundraise monies to build new playgrounds in Bayfield.
Playgrounds blend with the beauty of our community.
Playgrounds need to be safe and accessible for all.
East Dock Park
The East Dock Park is located right on the shores of Lake Superior in between the US Coast Guard Station and the Bayfield City Marina.
This park is nicknamed The Blue Park. It’s large and has more structures available to spur the imagination of any child – or adult whose a kid at heart.
Its pavilion is perfect for birthday parties and family gatherings. You can enjoy a lakeside picnic while watching your children:
Pull themselves up the climbing wall
Stretch their toes to the sky while swinging
Chase each other up wooden ramps
Play a game of beach volleyball
The nearby fishing dock is a great place to cast your line. Or watch the Madeline Island Ferry boat shuttle cars and visitors to and from the mainland to Madeline Island.
Like Cooper Hill Park, The East Dock Park underwent a major update in the 1990s. It’s been a popular gathering place since. But also, like Cooper Hill Park, its wooden structures are starting to wither away.
The zip line is stretched out, and some plastic and rubber coverings over the stepping stones and the musical fish have rotted away.
Both of these parks host thousands of children each summer. Despite their declining condition, our boys and families gather here regularly to play, laugh, and connect.
We want you and your family to enjoy these spaces too. Here are three ways you can help restore the playgrounds in Bayfield.
1. Bayfield Winterfest Playground Fundraiser
Over this last year, a group of parents and other community members have been working hard to raise the money to rebuild the playgrounds in Bayfield. We are:
Organizing fundraising events
These fundraising events help raise money and serve as a way for community members and families to connect. We’re all supporting a goal that’ll benefit our community and you for years to come.
One way to help support our Bayfield community and contribute to rebuilding our playgrounds is to join us for a playground fundraising event at the Bayfield Winterfest.
This family-friendly event will include:
A snow sculpture contest
Roasting s'mores over campfires
Beer from Adventure Club Brewing
Come join us for prizes, food, and more from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 5th, 2023, at Howl Adventure Center.
2. Join Other Community Members in Supporting the Playgrounds in Bayfield
Participating in one of our fundraising events for playgrounds in Bayfield is one of the many ways you can help rebuild our playgrounds.
Bayfield attracts people of all ages. Our community largely consists of:
Families who have established their roots over several generations
Whether you're a family with small children like us. Or grandparents keeping up with their grandkids, we ask you to consider donating.
3. Be a Major Donor to Help Revitalize Our Playgrounds in Bayfield
We’re so fortunate within our area to have organizations like Memorial Medical Center and the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation donate money to support the health and well-being of our kids.
There couldn't be a stronger need than today when our children and their families are in a constant battle against the stimulation of cell phones, tablets, and other devices.
What the next generation needs most is to climb, crawl, swing, run, and be outdoors. They develop motor and cognitive skills to support a healthy and thriving child. Our playgrounds are more than a place to play.
Does your business or organization support these same values?
Your company can help support our community in rebuilding its playgrounds.
Rebuilding a Safe Place to Play in Bayfield, Wisconsin
Isaac's family gets together each year to share a meal under the pavilion at The East Dock Park.
His family has a long history going back to the late 1800s. Seven brothers and their families, over 100 people, came to Bayfield to establish themselves in the commercial fishing and lumber industries.
Since Isaac's family has been involved within the Bayfield community and in the surrounding area.
Currently, there are four generations of his family still living in Bayfield. When we meet for our annual lakeside picnic, we watch the children play tag on the playground and start a pick-up game of beach volleyball.
Like any family, there are heated political discussions, funny stories, and lots of shared recipes. With the lake as our backdrop, these afternoon picnics are enjoyed by all.
This is what we want for anyone who comes to enjoy our playgrounds in Bayfield.
Please donate to the Bayfield Playground Fundraiser today.
The Carrier Family,
Mollie, Isaac, and especially Axel, Ridge, and Banks