Ridgemont Park enjoys new equipment

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, August 1, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

Small city parks are continuing to see improvements across Orange as Ridgemont Park is now sporting new playground equipment. However, the slides and climbing apparatuses have an added surprise for the younger community. The park has an app.

AS children are climbing, sliding and playing on the equipment, they can also use a Biba app, downloadable at Google Play or App Store, to help get the younger generation outdoors and moving.

Apps available now include Biba Collectobots. It is part of a fun collection of free games built for parents to play with their kids on the playground. Also available are Biba Drive, Biba Relay, Biba Butterfly Bounty, and Biba Dino Dig.

Dino Dig also teaches cool facts about dinosaurs as the children unearth virtual dino bones while at the playground.

The equipment, purchased with funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), is also handicap accessible. The equipment and installation was $56,000.

Each app is designed to kids back outdoors and active, according to http://bibaventures.com.

Every Biba game is developed with a unique activity profile and follows a strict “90/10” rule… that is, kids must be physically active for at least 90-percent of the game, with only 10-percent of their attention ever spent with the screen. The result is “heads up” play that is best for the child, yet actively involves their parents, grandparent or caregiver.

On Thursday, as the heat wave continued in Orange and the thermometer was boasting a mere 96 degrees at 4 p.m. and a heat index of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the hand rails were cool to the touch as City of Orange Grants Planner Sandra Wilson checked.

The playground equipment is designed to stay cool even in direct sunlight to prevent children from injury from hot metal equipment as their parents had in their youth.

Ridgemont Park also has a picnic table nearby as well as a small barbeque pit so parents may stay in the shade or grill for a picnic as the children play.

National Recreation and Park Association consider the park a pocket park.

A pocket park is a small outdoor space, usually no more than a quarter of an acre, usually only a few house lots in size or smaller, most often located in an urban area surrounded by commercial buildings or houses on small lots with few places for people to gather, relax, or to enjoy the outdoors. The term came into use in the 1960’s.

CDBG requires funds to be used in an area with 51-percent or more low-income area.

Ridgemont Park, with the interactive app, is the first of its kind in the city of Orange. The park is located at 3505 Ridgemont in Orange.