The Barwell Road Park Improvements project included the addition of a new playground, challenge course, and multipurpose field to the park. The "challenge course" is made of a series of obstacles with a start-and-stop timer at each end. The course provides varying levels of difficulty to make it fun for kids and can also be used for athletic training for teenagers and adults. In addition to the obstacle circuit, a two-lane, 40-yard sprint track provides another area for training or challenging a friend to a race. The challenge course has been provided by a donation from the Carolina Panthers partnering with the City of Raleigh on the project.
A new playground for Barwell Road Park was the top priority set in the Barwell Road Park Master Plan approved by City Council in 2017. Future development of the park is guided by the Master Plan, which establishes a long-term vision for the park property. Development of the park will occur in phases over the next several years. City funding for the development of the Master Plan and the playground and challenge course is provided by the 2007 Parks Bond.