Is the wooden playground in Bear Creek Park your favorite playground as a child, or for someone you know? Can you help enhance this Medford children’s treasure for generations to come?
Join the Medford Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department and its partners for an “open house” celebrating the Bear Creek Park Community Playground replacement project from 4-5:30 p.m. on Presidents Day, Mon., Feb. 19, at the playground site in Bear Creek Park, 1520 Siskiyou Boulevard, Medford.
The family friendly picnic serves as a celebration of the recently completed playground re-design phase and the kickoff to the fundraising and friend-raising stage. The event will feature food, crafts, games, distribution of informational materials and project updates.
Citizen involvement is essential for project funding and assembly this calendar year.
Rejuvenating the 30-year-old wooden fort-like structure with a similar style using modern materials was identified as a high-priority capital improvement project for the 2017-19 funding cycle. The City teamed up with JWA Public Affairs, the Medford Parks and Recreation Foundation, the Medford School District, and original playground manufacturer Leathers Inc. to replicate the original community design-and-build process and to galvanize fundraising and community engagement.
The playground was built in 1988 following an extensive fundraising campaign and an all-volunteer construction effort consisting of hundreds of donors and volunteers. Many of the original wood planks have been replaced, several playground elements have been removed for various reasons, and the entire wooden structure is near the end of its lifecycle.
Students from Hoover and Roosevelt provided design suggestions at in-school workshops last October. Coupled with a community survey, the feedback culminated with a final design that retains the castle-like design, improves ADA accessibility and sight lines, and enlarges the sight with modern features such as zip lines and climbing features.
The $610,000 fundraising target is needed to build the new playground with a rubberized surface that maximizes safety and mobility. In addition to cash donations, volunteers are sought to coordinate or provide in-kind materials and services, food and special services for playground installation, tentatively slated for the first two weeks of October.
Former Medford mayor, city councilor and state legislator Al Densmore, a JWA senior account executive who was heavily involved with the original Bear Creek playground project, is overseeing public outreach.
For details on how to get involved, please visit www.playmedford.com.