GRANTS PASS – The playground at Lawnridge Park is going to get a much needed makeover thanks to a matching grant awarded to the City of Grants Pass by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
“Congratulations on your successful application for grant funds,” wrote program coordinator Mark Cowan in his letter awarding the grant to the city.
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 is supplied through the state’s local government small grant program, which is funded by state lottery revenue.
The city will match the total awarded with funds from project LB6189 Existing Park Sports Facility Rehab, said Wendy Giordano, superintendent of Parks and Property Management for the city.
“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 current existing playground equipment was installed in the 1990s and is estimated to be approximately 25 years old. It has exceeded its serviceable life, said Giordano.
The proposed new play structure will consist of elevated and ground level components designed to promote physical play and social interaction. The planned 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 to the original design, Giordano said.
Giordano worked closely with local company, Playcraft Systems, to design the elements of the new playground, which will include a covered play structure incorporating climbing platforms, slides, and various ladders, such as a horizontal ladder know as “monkey bars.” The swing structure will include 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.
Terms of the grant specify the project must be completed by Oct. 31, 2021, but Giordano anticipates installation to be completed in early 2020.
“As far as timing for the installation, we will have to see how long the production will take. We might have weather issues, and need to wait until Spring,” she said.