Last Trip Around The Sun
The beloved rocket slide in Kehoe Park is retiring from its nearly 60-year journey in St. Charles.
Kehoe Park was established in 1962. The property was donated to the City of St. Charles by its owners Phillip and Annie Kehoe. The moon rocket slide was installed as the main feature of Jaycees Playground. The Jaycees contributed $1,500 for the purchase of the playground equipment. In 1975, the park was acquired by the St. Charles Park District.
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In the 1960’s, the United States was on the leading edge of space exploration and it brought great pride and wonder to many. Parks all over the country celebrated the history being made by installing rocket slides or providing space travel themes for outdoor play, just like the one at Kehoe Park.
Yes, absolutely! Over the years, several park users have shared their stories of playing on St. Charles’ rocket slide. It is a symbol of many people’s childhood memories. And what better way can adults who grew up here cherish such a memory, especially when their own child or any child shares the same joy when playing on the rocket slide. It is this sentiment toward the park and the rocket slide that has led the District to leave it in its place for as long as safely possible.
Rocket slide made its debut when Kehoe Park was established in 1962. Playground standards have changed significantly since rocket slide was installed. Typically, the Park District replaces playground components around 20-25 years.
The Park District will keep the rocket as a historical structure.
Park District staff propose putting a permanent, interpretive sign near the rocket structure with pictures, history and hopefully some anecdotes from the community that will tell the story for years to come.
|Now – Spring 2022||Collect memories, photos and comments from St. Charles residents and visitors who have enjoyed the rocket slide for the last 60 years. Rocket Park. Seek input on what type of new play structure they would like to see installed as its replacement. COMPLETED|
|Jan – Mar 2022||Conduct a formal public input opportunity with play equipment renderings for review and comment. COMPLETED|
|June 2022||Based on public input, present the new amenity to the Park Board of Commissioners at a public meeting. COMPLETED|
|July 2022||Create and solicit bids for the purchase and installation of the new amenity. COMPLETED|
|August 2022||Share the lowest responsible bidder to the Park Board at a public meeting and issue contracts.|
|Late Fall 2022/Early Spring 2023||With an approved concept plan, install new playground amenity and commemorate the rocket structure location within Kehoe Park with interpretive signage.|
|Spring 2023||Dedicate the new amenities of the park.|
New playground features will include:
- Enclosed space with interactive features
- Climbers, spinners & rockers
- Slides & swings
- ADA drinking fountain/bottle fill station with dog bowl
- Water sensory table donated by St. Charles Noon Kiwanis
- Enhanced landscaping and benches