The transformation of the Oláh Gábor utca playground (formerly Jubileumi Játszótér and Ötholdas Pagony) has been completed. The floor area of the park has been doubled, with a total of more than a hundred games and a central reception building now waiting for families. The playground, which remains free to use, opened on July 31, 2022. In addition to concerts, interactive activities, and numerous additional programs, the “islanders” could take possession of the city’s newest attraction.
The reconstruction of the city’s largest playground began in September 2021. In an area of 58,000 square meters, which is about twice as large as before, 78 new or previously existing and renovated toys are available, including the previously existing barrier-free play equipment, as well as a new barrier-free swing. In addition, the most spectacular element of the park is the adventure tower, which offers challenges to older children with a giant slide and an obstacle course stretching between the leaves of the trees. A mini-city modeling the life of adults was built, with 19 buildings belonging to it, a road network that can be used according to the rules of road traffic, and a racetrack, which is connected to a pit lane and a parking garage. For these, small cars that can be rented and driven on foot were purchased, which the children could try out for free on an opening day. All other elements of the playground will remain free to use in the future! The park became four-season with the construction of a reception building, where, among other things, there were washrooms and a baby-mother room, a buffet, a cafe, and a special room for holding private events and classes.
The playground was designed according to the theme of Magda Szabó’s fairy tale Sziget-kék, out of respect for the writer’s connection to Debrecen, and the preservation of traditions. This work by Magda Szabó is about the relationship between animals and people, friendship, and the values of nature. The main goal of the municipality of Debrecen is to protect the environment and preserve the uniqueness of the Great Forest, which is in line with the message of the novel. Statues of the 11 characters will appear in the park, and you can read more interesting facts about them using the displayed signs and QR codes.
On July 31, 2022, mayor László Papp handed over the keys to the playground to the children, symbolizing how the writer received the keys to the city from the then mayor, Lajos Kósa, on her 90th birthday.
Regarding the investment, László Papp pointed out that a huge change has taken place in the area of the former Ötholdas Pagony in the past year.
“This playground has been one of the most important and prominent public spaces in Debrecen for many decades. During the development, we also tried to preserve its natural values, as the Great Forest is an important treasure for the city,”
– said, László Papp.
In accordance with this, more than ten thousand square meters of lawns were planted, five thousand square meters of shrubs were planted, and three thousand square meters of perennials were planted.
Deputy mayor Diána Széles put it this way: the goal was to “give families something that only Debrecen can give, which is not available anywhere else in the country”. He added: August in Debrecen is about children and families, every weekend there will be a program at the Sziget-kék playground, while before the flower carnival, the Galiba Children’s Festival will be held, with more than 200 programs for five days.
The Sziget-kék playground is open every day of the year from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. in summer and 6:00 p.m. in winter.
The project was implemented within the framework of the Economic Development and Innovation Operative Program (GINOP) with 100% support intensity from HUF 1.2 billion.
Debrecen City Hall