CONTACT: Matt Maisel
Director of Communications, City of Harrisburg
(717) 255-7295
[email protected]

June 20, 2023

HARRISBURG – After more than a year of construction and anticipation, City of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, and state leaders cut the ribbon to formally open the innovative Chutes and Ladders Playground on Tuesday at Reservoir Park.

The playground, which is located next to the Reservoir Park Bandshell and in front of the Mansion, is fashioned after the classic board game of the same name. Kids will be able to climb or slide down dozens of different apparatuses, for a park experience unlike any other throughout Harrisburg, or all of Central Pennsylvania.

“Our parks are the cornerstone of our community,” said Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams. “This where families come together, laugh, and share memories. Thirty years from now, the children here today will tell their children about the time their parents took them to the famous Chutes and Ladders Playground.”

Tuesday’s opening marked the conclusion of a six-year project. The Master Site plan was initially approved in 2017 and completed in 2018. It highlights the tremendous partnership between the city, and its state and federal partners. The playground cost slightly more than $1 million, funded almost entirely through grants. The city’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) covered $724,802.86 of the project, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources pitched in $250,000, and the city’s general fund paid for $49,520.

Among those in attendance at Tuesday’s ribbon cutting Grand Opening were City Council President Danielle Bowers and Parks Committee Chair Jocelyn Rawls; State Representative and former City Councilman Dave Madsen and Angel Fox representing Rep. Patty Kim’s office; Commissioners Mike Pries and George Hartwick; Lori Yeich, Conservation Director for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; and Dennise Hill, Director of Building and Housing Development for the City of Harrisburg.

The Chutes and Ladders Playground is the first of a multi-phased redevelopment plan of Reservoir Park. Construction will begin later in 2023 on Phase 2, which includes a spray park, new pavilion, ADA accessible playground equipment, a tot lot playground set, new trees, new sidewalks and walkways, improved traffic control, and new green infrastructure.  

In addition, Harrisburg is in the process of taking public input on how to use $13 million in grant money, which will go towards major improvements at 7th & Radnor Park, Wilson Playground, Gorgas Playground, and Jackson Lick Pool.

“This is what happens when community leaders get together to help our families,” said Mayor Williams. “This is the Harrisburg we dream about together, and the best is yet to come.”