Park District of Highland Park

Master Planning for Sunset Woods
Park and Playground Renovations


To keep with the four playgrounds’ current structure, the two renovated playgrounds will each have a unique theme that will subtly influence the style and character of some of the play equipment and play spaces. There was community interest in both the solar system theme and nature-inspired theme. Also, there was specific interest in maintaining some type of rocket ship feature.  The 5-12 age group play area was selected to have the solar theme, and the 2-5 age group area a nature inspired theme based on the input. The supporting play equipment images included for reference with the playground concept plan are representative ideas only and final equipment selection will occur during the playground renovation final design phase. Both playgrounds are expected to have a combination of wood engineered fiber surfacing with poured-in-place rubber surfacing being included as budget allows. Some of the key aspects of the plan are as follows:

Features of the 5-12 age group solar-themed playground.

  • Multi-level rocket style tower with slides, interactive panels, climbers, and connection to other activities.
  • Embankment-play with a crater style hillside climber and slides,
  • Space net climber that can accommodate large groups of children,
  • Group spinner, and
  • Six belt swings.

Features of the 2-5 age group nature-themed playground.

  • Primary play structure with slides, interactive panels, and age-appropriate climbers
  • Sand play area with imaginative playhouse and shade canopy,
  • Balancing activities such as logs, stump steppers, and leaves.
  • Two tot swings with one tandem swing.

Next Steps:

  • The Master Plan will guide future development and support funding opportunities.
  • The Playground concept plan will guide final design expected to begin March 2021. The playground construction is expected to start in late Summer 2021.

For more information about the Sunset Woods Master Planning Project please contact Amalia Schwartz, Planning and Projects Manager at the Park District of Highland Park.

More project information and updates can be found on the Park District’s Project webpage.

The Park District invites the community to comment on the final plans through February 18th. Comments can be submitted through the Comment tab of this website.