Review: The newly renovated Barney Schwartz Park – As Seen in PASO Magazine

Source: PASO Magazine

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 edition of Paso Magazine



The lower half of Barney Schwartz Park reopened this winter with a new playground. And, I gotta say, it’s pretty awesome.

Boasting a new big kid area and tot lot, our favorite features are the shade structures (ok, so maybe that’s just a mommy fave), a rustic log tunnel, and a large dual slide.

“Barney Schwartz Park is located at 2970 Union Road in Paso Robles. From the city’s website: Just off of Highway 46 East, surrounded by oak-dotted hills, Barney Schwartz Park is the only park of its kind within 120 miles. Besides being capable of holding large scale tournaments for baseball, softball and soccer, it has a one million gallon lake, four group picnic areas, grassy picnic areas, two concession stands and two terrific playgrounds.”

At 15 years old, Barney’s previous playground equipment had been looking pretttty shabby with its torn climbing net and a boarded-up platform to nothing.

But the new equipment, designed by Minnesota-based Landscape Structures, brings a fresh design that’s brightly colored and fun to explore. It also offers a fairly diverse set of play structures including some really great nature-inspired tree stump steps, large climbing boulders and a speedy stand-on ring twister to spin around and around. When we visited, the kids were excited to try out the “Cascade Climber,” which features foothold cutouts on a series of panels to encourage kids to move up, down and sideways.

For me, I love the small details in the craftsmanship of the play equipment, like the subtly placed fossil imprints of bugs and fish on the climbing rocks and a little carved mouse nesting in a knothole on top of the hand-painted log tunnel.


While I’m excited excited to see this lower playground refreshed, I’m also a little sad. Because, memories (cue that Barbara Streisand song). The old playground with its distinctive purple tunnel and log-fort vibe was the very first park I brought my now four-year-old to, taking mama/baby selfies on the bucket swings. Two years later, that very same playground became the site of another first —  my inaugural “two in tow” solo outing with just me and two babies. Eeek!

Charged with the responsibility of our 2-year-old and her newborn brother, I hauled a double stroller packed with half the contents of our nursery to the playground. All the while hoping big sister could navigate the old tot lot by herself while I was marooned on a nearby bench under a nursing baby. And she did fine! Thus, the old park was the backdrop for what would be the first of many lessons of being iut and about as a mom-of-two.

But now, with the new equipment at Barney Schwartz  Park, there’s all the latest stuff to play on. And, yes, new memories to make. So there’s no time for tears!

(Ok, maybe just a few).

Here’s a link to my full playground review here.

The March 2018 edition also contains a shoutout to us from publisher Nic Mattson!

“Our team is also growing. You will notice two new names over the last few months in Tonya Strickland and Sarah Pope. Both moms give us a great perspective on #momlife in their unique ways. I think I might take my son Mirac (rhymes with lyric) to Barney Schwartz for a “Dad Day,” all thanks to Tonya’s article this month.”

Nic Mattson

Read it here.

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The March 2018 edition of PASO Magazine.

PASO Magazine is mailed for free to households in Paso Robles.

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About Tonya Strickland

Tonya Strickland is a journalist and Instagram influencer in the family and travel niche. A former newspaper reporter, Tonya shares unfiltered #momlife content about places to go with kids. Her family moved from California's Central Coast to Washington state in August 2020. Their adventures now continue in the Pacific Northwest.

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