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Rocket to Richardson

City of Richardson

For a good year, Andrew Laska of Richardson has been fighting to preserve the 33-acres Heights Park near the intersection of Floyd and Arapaho Roads, famous for its space-age replicas of rocket ships and radar dishes and ringed planets upon which generations of children have climbed since its creation some 40 years ago. He was among the members of the Heights Park Playground Task Force that met for several months, hoping to somehow merge the old with a brand-new vision for a park city leaders felt had become not only antiquated, but also in keeping with the shiny-new spirit of a 2007 master plan for the park and surrounding land.

Today in the Richardson Echo, Laska details how he more or less lost the battle to keep the playground, upon which he first played some 40 years ago, intact. Though the city has decided to keep the rocket -- "as an icon, piece of sculpture, or in some other manner to be determined," notes last month's briefing -- the park will close on July 14 while the city removes and stores the "non-compliant" equipment while it decides what to do with it. But Laska hasn't given up hope: "The place and its physical elements cannot be kept as playground equipment but it can be transformed into something that still has a sense of place for the generations now and in the future." --Robert Wilonsky

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