Waterfront Park play area reopens, Children’s Park structure nears end

‘P.E.P. Rally’ set for April 7 at Childrens’ Park

FAMILIES enjoy the Waterfront Park on Portway Avenue Saturday, the first weekend the playground was open since the winter closure.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
FAMILIES enjoy the Waterfront Park on Portway Avenue Saturday, the first weekend the playground was open since the winter closure.

The City of Hood River Waterfront Park children’s playground has reopened just in advance of the upcoming closure of Children’s Park in anticipation of that rebuild effort.

Waterfront Park’s children’s play area, located at 650 Portway Ave., reopened Wednesday after nearly six months of closure to allow for the establishment of grass ground covering and some equipment replacement. According to Travis Pease, park lead for the City of Hood River, the mild winter weather was advantageous for the improvements.

“The new grass did really well. We were able to overseed most areas last fall, and installed around 600 square feet of sod in an area that wasn’t optimal for hydro seeding,” Pease said. Other improvements included replacement of fall-surfacing on a piece of equipment, and replacement of a broken piece of equipment.

The Children’s Park project, named Park Playground Enhancement Project (P.E.P.), proceeded after determination late last spring that the playground had reached the end of its safe and useful life. The effort to rebuild the park, located at the corner of Ninth and Eugene streets, has been guided by the Children’s Park steering committee. The plan is to replace the structure with longer lasting, safer structures and equipment. (The adjoining lawn, picnic area and covered play structure remain open.)

The new structure, designed by Play By Design, followed a community design-build process, and will be by and large ADA-accessible, with over 50 total play elements. The play area footprint will be increased by 3,000 square-feet over the original park.

An event is scheduled at Children’s Park for Saturday, April 7 to bid farewell to the existing park structure built by the community 25 years ago. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free. It will include the “P.E.P. Rally” fundraiser for the new park, with music, food, face painting, and games planned.

Children’s Park will close shortly after the P.E.P. Rally to prepare for the development and installation of new and expanded play structures. A forthcoming community build week is scheduled for June 4-10.

For more information, email childrenspark@cityofhoodriver.com. For information about donating to the Children’s Park fund, contact Hood River Rotary Foundation via Jess Miller at jess@lestax.com.

To stay up-to-date on park projects, sign up for the Children’s Park or city public works email lists at ci.hood-river.or.us/connect.

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