GRANTS PASS – The recent completion of the installation of new playground equipment at Lawnridge Park marks new milestones for the City of Grants Pass as the first city park to include a rubberized tile surface and an inclusive swing for use by children with special needs.
“Thank you to our local play equipment manufacturer, Playcraft Systems, for working so closely with city staff to develop a fun, inclusive playground,” said Wendy Giordano, superintendent of Parks and Property Management.
The playground at Lawnridge Park received its much-needed makeover thanks to a matching grant awarded to the City of Grants Pass by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Grants Pass was awarded $50,624 to apply toward removal and replacement of existing playground equipment, and to add a poured-in-place rubberized fall surface at the park.
The grant was supplied through the state’s local government small grant program, which is funded by state lottery revenue. The city matched the grant with funds from project LB6189 Existing Park Sports Facility Rehab, said Giordano.
“The funds available for the match in the project are mostly from Lodging Tax, but also some General Fund and Parks Development System Development Charges,” Giordano said.
Lawnridge Park is a multi-use park consisting of 1.42 acres of land in the northwestern portion of the city. The park consists of green open space, picnic areas, tennis court, basketball court, restroom facility, and children’s playground. The site was acquired from Josephine County in 1944 and was initially developed as the first and only City Playground in the 1950s.
The old playground equipment was installed in the 1990s and was estimated to be approximately 25 years old. It had exceeded its serviceable life, said Giordano.
The new play structure consists of elevated and ground-level components designed to promote physical play and social interaction. The poured-in-place rubberized surface improves safety and will ensure the play area is accessible to children with different levels of mobility. An ADA compliant swing has also been added, Giordano said.
Giordano worked closely with Playcraft Systems to design the elements of the new playground, which also includes a covered play structure incorporating climbing platforms, slides, and various ladders, such as a horizontal ladder known as “monkey bars.” The swing structure includes youth and infant style swings.
The new playground features expanded play options which will increase the active participation level of children who play there, “thereby forging and strengthening friendships and relationships with community peers,” Giordano said.
City park facilities such as play structures, restrooms, and athletic courts are currently closed due to state-mandated social distancing restrictions. Open spaces, trails, and bike paths remain accessible to those practicing proper distancing. All facilities will be reopened for use once restrictions are lifted.