We went back today to make sleepover arrangements with one of dd's friends who lives across the street from the playground, and dd's friend's family wasn't home yet.
Since some of the bully-group was already at the playground, we didn't go there; we just headed straight over to the other park in our neighborhood. This other park is about a 25-30 minute walk to the north and east of our house, whereas the playground where the bullies hang out is about a 20 minute walk to the south and west of us.
Even though dd1 had initially thought that she wouldn't have as much fun at this other park (because even though it has two playrounds the swings have been removed), she actually did have a blast on some of the climbing equipment and also this thing that spins around, and there is a whole lot more space for bike-riding there, too. Plus the tennis courts for when we get rackets.
It seems like a whole different atmosphere, and all of the teens we saw there seemed to be part of family-groups with the parents actually present, so we didn't hear any cussing or anything. I commented to dd1 that if she gets to the age where she doesn't enjoy the equipment so much, since she is learning to knit at our homeschooling co-op, she might sometimes enjoy bringing her knitting along and just hanging out.
I just have a feeling there may be other kids like my dd in this community who would love to learn to knit but whose moms might be just as clueless about it as I am. So she might even get to know some new people because of her new interest in knitting.
When it got dark, we drove back by dd's friend's house, and she and her dad were home then so we arranged the sleepover for tomorrow. It was really a godsend that we went back, because we also saw one of dd's other friends out on the street there with her mom.
This was dd's friend who had spent the night last weekend, and on Monday we'd learned that her parents had suddenly split up Sunday night and nobody knew where to find the mom or kids. Dd was so worried that she might have lost touch with this friend forever -- but it turns out that they are now living very close to the other park, the one we had so much fun playing at tonight.
Her mom said her dd would be thrilled if we dropped by when we were going to this park to invite her to come along. So now it looks like this other park may end up being even more fun for my girls to hang out at than the old favorite!