Spielplatz am Rosengärtchen to remain a playground

When I first heard about the plans to build a new Kindergarten on the playground “Spielplatz am Rosengärtchen” in the Neuhausstraße, I was horrified.  Not only because I had received incorrect information about the location from the Ausländerbeirat, but because I felt personally affected by it more than by many of the things that I write about on this site.

This is the playground that I take my children to and we even held a birthday party there once.  It has a variety of things for children to do and play on, including a large basket for a swing, a roundabout, two slides, a “bare foot path” (created incidentally by a local Scout group) and a couple of climbing frames.  It also has places for parents to sit down and even a few tables, and in summer the trees provide shade for most of the playground.

All of a sudden this was under threat, with the reason given that the number of new homes built at the northern end of Oberursel would, one day, require further child-care places to be available in the area.

Spielplatz am Rosengärtchen

Whilst I might accept that argument without too much discussion, I did wonder if all those extra children would not also need a playground to go to.  Not one that is only open when the Kindergarten does not need it, but one that parents can take their children to at any time and with all the advantages listed above.  I also wondered which school all these new children are supposed to go to, once they finish their time at Kindergarten.

And so I started asking questions.  I asked about it at one sitting of the Oberstedten suburb sub-committee, and also I started a discussion on BrunnenTreff.

I started getting answers, in particular from Alderman Christof Fink who has the unenviable task of being responsible for the Kindergarten places in the town whilst at the same time representing the Green party in the town’s executive.

Apparently I was not the only local resident who was unhappy about the plans.  Other people started getting in contact, either via the forum, Facebook or in person, who also felt that this playground should not be sacrificed.  And some politicians must have felt this way too, because the parliamentary groups on the town council asked for alternatives to be looked for.

The good news came this week during a sitting of the social and culture sub-committee, when it was announced that the executive would be withdrawing the plans and were in talks with the organisation who would actually build and run the Kindergarten (VzF) about an alternative location.  The move was welcomed in particular by Councillors Kerstin Giger (CDU) and Eva-Maria Kuntsche (FDP).  Councillor Giger even went as far as naming – or at least suggesting – some alternatives, prompting Alderman Fink to expand on her list, without actually naming the preferred option.

Frau Giger also asked for a study to be carried out, to find out if the places really are needed, something that is certainly a wise idea and one might ask if this has not already been done – and if not, then why not?

My only concern now is that, even if the Kindergarten is built elsewhere, the playground is declared as building land in the regional land development plan. As long as that status remains, there is in my opinion still the chance that one day someone else will want to build there.

Maybe one of those councillors would like to table a motion to get that changed?


About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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