Denise Mathews, Realtor, is a Northwest Indiana born, raised, and lifelong resident and multiple business owner. Join her in exploring The Region thru the Northwest Indiana Living website & social media sites.
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Photo Credit: Denise Mathews with NWIndianaLiving.com

Say goodbye to the old Tot Park in Griffith, Indiana and hello to the $1,000,000 in Tot Park improvements coming this spring 2024!

Located at the intersection of Indiana Ave and Lake St, Tot Park had seen better days. The basketball court was full of grass-filled cracks. The playground equipment was hand-me-downs from other Griffith Indiana parks upgrades. The shelter had no restrooms or water. Accessibility for all was non-existent. Everything needed to be brought up to code.

But 2024 is Tot Park’s turn for major improvements in Griffith’s commitment to improving the parks as outlined in Griffith’s 5 Year Master Plan. The Tot Park improvements, to be completed spring and summer 2024, are as follows:

 

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All Proposal Illustrations Credited to Griffith Parks & Recreation Dept

Multi-Station Playground Includes Tot Spots In The Tot Park Upgrades

The new playground sits in the center of Tot Park, surrounded by benches, shade trees, and accessible pathways.  It will feature two playground equipment stacks, one built especially for 2-5 year tots, and the other for older children.

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Addressing a major concern for parents, the separate play equipment for smaller children improves safety. The soft surface ground material keeps boo-boos to a minimum and the park up to code. 

A musical instrument section with drums, chimes, and a metallophone adds more variety to Northwest Indiana playtime for kids. 

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Photo Credit: Denise Mathews with NWIndianaLiving.com

Current Playground Status

The playground area is currently under construction and expected to be finished around mid-June 2024. 

Skate Plaza Addition Hopes To Make Tot Park A Recreational Destination in The Region 

A 5200 square foot skate park, designed by a skatepark designer out of California, brings something brand new to Tot Park. Griffith sorely needed a skate park for the older kids and this one respects the neighborhood with low-noise cement and other materials.

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Current Skate Plaza Status

The skate plaza will be the last piece of the new Tot Park improvements to be finished. Rock and soil piles have been brought in, along with earth-moving construction equipment. The projected completion date is August or September.

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Photo Credit: Denise Mathews with NWIndianaLiving.com

New Pavilion Gets A Huge Upgrade

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Photo Credit: Denise Mathews with NWIndianaLiving.com

The new pavilion includes restrooms, a drinking fountain, electricity and lighting, and is handicapped accessible. The new shelter is 50×30 feet and will be available for rent.

Pavilion Current Status

The new shelter is currently in construction and projected to be finished around mid-June 2024.

Tot-Park-Pavilion-illustration

New Sports Court Is A Much Needed Tot Park Improvement 

The new sports court will be located in the same area it already is. This multi-purpose court will be lined for basketball as well as other sports. Hopefully, it will also be converted into an ice rink in the winter months and provide NWI youths with winter recreation also.

Sports Court Current Status

Courts are in mid-construction and scheduled to be complete by mid-June 2024.

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Photo Credit: Denise Mathews with NWIndianaLiving.com

16 Space Paved Off Road Parking Along Length Of Tot Park

Parking was a major issue with the residents living around Tot Park, as well as the Griffith Planning Commission. The new, paved parking lot along the East side is a perfect solution as it provides parallel parking by the railroad tracks instead of in front of homes. The lot is also handicapped-accessible, with paved walkways to all park features.

Tot Park Upgrades Completed In Two Stages

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Photo Credit: Denise Mathews with NWIndianaLiving.com

As of Spring 2024, Tot Park is currently closed and under construction. All the old playground equipment has been removed. Work has begun on the sports courts, pavilion, playground, and some pathways. These areas are scheduled to be completed around mid-June 2024, according to Griffith Parks and Recreation Department.

The skate plaza section, and all its tricked-out builds, will take a little longer to complete. The project will be completed in August or September 2024.

Impact Of Tot Park Upgrades On Surrounding Griffith Neighborhood

The Griffith Park Board is committed to serving the community’s needs and actively pursues involvement from residents. In 2021, the Park Board distributed a survey to residents about their opinions, and wants, concerning all of Griffith’s neighborhood parks. The top 10 areas of interest, according to Griffith’s Master Plan, are shown below. The upgrades at Tot Park include 7 items off the wish list!

  • Splash Pad
  • Restrooms
  • Walking Paths
  • Dog Park
  • Parking
  • WiFi
  • Drinking Fountains
  • Playground Equipment
  • Playground Surface
  • Skate Park

Neighbors Get Personal Invitation To Attend Tot Park Upgrade Presentation To Express Concerns, Ask Questions   

The surrounding residents of the Tot Park area in Griffith were not ignored when planning this park’s improvements, either. Neighbors were specially invited to attend the Tot Park Improvements Presentation and pressed for input. Residents expressed concern were:

Traffic And Parking

Traffic and parking were major concerns for homeowners in the immediate area around Tot Park. The proposed 16-spot parking lot to the east side of the park by the tracks will reduce street parking in front of resident’s homes. Traffic should then flow easily to exits at both Lake and Miller streets.

Noise

Special consideration was given to cut down on noise levels. The skate park will be built using smoother cement that reduces noise. Other noise-reducing materials are being used throughout the park, supporting the Tot Park improvements.

Community Parks Are A Good Thing For Local Homeowners

Great community parks can increase nearby homeowner’s property values from about 8 to 20%, according to a study done by The University of Washington. Proximity to a playground is a key factor for many buyers, especially those with young children. Nearby parks also provide recreation and open green space for local residents to enjoy.

Interested In Living Near Tot Park In Griffith?

Contact A Local Realtor HERE

The Tot Park neighborhood is a sought-after area to call home if you are considering buying a house in Griffith IN. If you’d like to live within walking distance of all the NEW Tot Park improvements, check out these homes currently for sale close to Tot Park.