How do you make kids cry? Tear down on of their favorite playgrounds.


The Heart of the Matter

One of New Jersey's last remaining wooden playgrounds is slated to be demolished in West Deptford, Gloucester County.

The playground, located on Union Field (off River Lane), was constructed 28 years ago at Field of Dreams park by community volunteers, reports.

Field of Dreams West Deptford NJ
Google Maps

It's a tall, wooden, castle-like structure (similar to the one shown below) with high peaks, tube slides, a balance beam, and more.

Playground at Lester Park in Duluth, MN
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Woodbury native and Field of Dreams playground lover Emily Abernethy told it was her happy place growing up, a haven she hoped to share with her own child.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

But during the Summer of 2023, West Deptford Township closed Field of Dreams playground due to safety concerns.

And during a recent visit with her daughter, Emily Abernathy told that she found the playground hadn't been kept up. Grass and weeds were overgrown, yet there was no sign indicating it was off-limits to visitors.

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After several follow-up inspections, West Deptford Township reportedly made the decision that, unfortunately, the playground's gotta come down.

It's a sad outcome that's not lost on township officials. In a statement to NJ Advance Media, Tyler Rost, West Deptford Township Administrator, writes, “We recognize the park represents a piece of our beloved community, and in an effort to preserve the lasting legacy of Field of Dreams park, West Deptford crews are carefully working to remove sponsorship bricks and fence pickets in hopes to return them to the original donors, without whom the park would not have been possible."

Plans for the Future


No official date has been put on the West Deptford calendar marking when the playground will be dismantled or whether a new playground will be built in its place.

Playgrounds made of safer, more durable materials like resin and metal have been popping up more and more in South Jersey and have become the industry standard in recent decades.


Man, have times changed! I grew up in Gloucester Township playing at a park made entire of TIRES.

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