Chelsea opens new playground at Melrose Park

CHELSEA – Families who are looking for a change of scenery or a place to take their children for a few minutes of outdoor playtime may explore the city’s new playground behind the Chelsea Community Center.

City and county officials celebrated the opening of the playground at Melrose Park at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, Nov. 2.

“This entire complex is something that we’ve been working on for several years, and it is such a great example of what can happen when you have partnership between a municipality and the county that it’s in,” Chelsea Mayor Tony Picklesimer said. “There’s no way we could do anything this size without the cooperation from the Shelby County Commission.”

The name “Melrose” in Melrose Park pays homage to Chelsea’s beginnings.

“The historians around our area tell us that over a century ago, what we now call Chelsea was called Melrose,” Picklesimer said. “There was a train station here … a Melrose station here and then a Melrose station up the line somewhere. The railroad made the decision that one of them had to change their name, and this area we now call home was changed from Melrose to Chelsea in the early 20th century.”

In addition to the playground, the park will include a splash pad, which is under construction, and an amphitheater.

“It’s coming together,” Picklesimer said. “We’re very proud of it.”

Picklesimer commended City Engineer Keith Hager for his vision for and work on the playground project.

Shelby County Manager Chad Scroggins, who was present at the ribbon cutting, said the Shelby County Commission was proud to be a part of the project, which gives residents another outlet for outdoor recreation.

“We’re trying to grow outdoor activities,” Scroggins said. “Even in this COVID environment, you’ve seen a lot of people outside doing things they’ve never done before. The recreation industry is booming right now.”

The county is also partnering with Chelsea on a community trails project, Scroggins said.

The playground at Melrose Park is situated behind the Chelsea Community Center, located at 11101 Shelby County 47.

“Chelsea is all about family. We want to create a place where families can come and spend time together,” Picklesimer said. “We welcome people from all over to come and enjoy this playground with their kids.”