Published: Jul 19, 2011 6:00 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 19, 2011 5:00 AM EDT

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. -- The city of Bonita Springs is making plans for a new playground downtown, and it's promising the park will be unlike any other in the area.

The Depot Park section of Riverside Park has a new jungle gym complete with metal steps and plastic slides, but the city says that's about as commercial as the playground will get.

City council member Martha Simons says plans for a new "natural playground" are in the works, with a design incorporating playground equipment into the landscaping and bringing in more organic elements for children to play on.

"It's a beautiful concept and no one has one in the area," Simons says.

 

She says it's also a cheaper setup to build and maintain and plays well into the city's plans of serving downtown families.

"There are certain activities that you need to dot around town, and a playground was needed in this area," Simons says.

 It will cost about $140,000 to build, she says, but they already have a head start -- a $40,000 donation from the Bonita Springs Lions Club.

"There really aren't adequate places for kids to go and have a playground that they can enjoy," says Robert Hilliard, Lions Club President.

Hilliard says the donation will help mark the 50th anniversary of the club.

The city is still drawing up the plans, but Simons knows whatever they are will only enhance the greenery downtown.

"It's really a beautiful thing to behold. It's kind of like "zen" playground," she says.

The city says its $100,000 share of the project will come from community park impact fees. It hopes to have the playground complete early next year.