Ready, set, summer: Young people across Baltimore City will find updated play spaces at some of their neighborhood recreation centers, parks and area schools, like the latest updo at the new Candy Stripe Park.

Previously named Cottage Avenue Park, Candy Stripe in Park Heights received its new name and a state-of-the-art playground Tuesday as part of the city’s Rec Rollout. Elected officials, Baltimore City Public Schools and Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc. have partnered to renovate playgrounds in parks and schoolyards across the city.

New playgrounds serve as “vital resources for Baltimore youth to strengthen their physical, social, and emotional health,” according to Baltimore’s Recreation & Parks website. Reginald Moore, director of Rec & Parks, echoed that message at the event Tuesday.

“We’re celebrating the new Candy Stripe playground. We decided this was one of the playgrounds that we wanted to focus on through our Park Maintenance Playground team, and we identified playgrounds across the city that had not had updated equipment or those that have been stuck in their original form,” Moore said.

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The agency is on track complete 26 new upgrades based on its “conditions study.” Moore added that swimming pools and further renovations at recreation centers are also in the mix as part of Mayor Brandon Scott’s — who is up for reelection — commitment to a $120 million capital plan citywide.

Children play tag at the opening of Candy Stripe Park Playground in Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Candy Stripe Park Playground originally had equipment that dated to 1997. It is one of the six play areas the city is renovating through Local Parks & Playground Infrastructure funding, while 17 other playgrounds renovations will be completed through American Rescue Plan Act funding, according to a news release.

The Walter P. Carter Swimming Pool, Radecke Playground, William J. Myers Pavilion, Parkview Recreation Center, Indiana Avenue Playground, Ambrose Kennedy Pool, Solo Gibbs Park Playground, Chick Webb Recreation Center, James D. Gross Recreation Center and Fallstaff Elementary/Middle School Playground, Gardenville Recreation Center and Medfield Recreation Center, have all received upgrades within the past year.

Colloquially, locals have called it Candy Stripe Park for the past 40 years. The now-official renaming of the park is situated in the neighborhood Scott is from, Park Heights.

“Everyone in my home neighborhood of Park Heights, and across Northwest Baltimore, has known this space as Candy Stripe Park – and today, I’m proud to make it official, while also ensuring the space is here to stay,” Scott said in a release.

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Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby (left) and Mayor Brandon Scott unveil the Candy Stripe Park sign at the opening of the park’s new playground. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

“Every single young person in Baltimore deserves access to world-class playspaces – and that is what we helped deliver today. Rec & Parks has always been at the top of our priority list – because it makes a tangible difference in the lives of Baltimoreans of all ages,” he added.

Playground renovations are part of Phase I of the upgrades planned for Candy Stripe Park. This summer, the city will install a new basketball court as part of Phase II, according to a news release.

Children from Towanda Recreation Center play on the swings at the opening of Candy Stripe Park Playground in Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood on April 23, 2024. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Moore said that most of the spaces will be fully operational just as school lets out for the year.

“This is about continuing to finding safe havens and innovative creative ways that our young people can be engaged in with activities and programming that they need,” he said.