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Storm Damage Closes a Corvallis Park’s Play Area

May 15, 2012

By Heather Turner

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The March flooding almost seems to be a distant memory, but the damage it and all the storms left behind is still affecting one popular play area in Corvallis.

Over the past several years, city parks crews have had to make minor repairs, patching up small holes in what’s known as the “dinosaur bones” at Avery Park.

City crews have fenced off the play area after all of the recent storms this past winter created much larger holes, making the play area unsafe.

The “dinosaur bones” were originally an art piece by OSU students back in the late ’70s.

Since then, they’ve become a popular play area for children in Avery Park.

All of the recent rain, flooding and storms created some serious hazards.  In some spots, metal supports and rebar are rotting.

It’s not hard to find exposed sharp edges, as well as large and small holes throughout the concrete structures.

“There are holes that are large enough that a child could actually get entrapped.  And so we wouldn’t want a child’s leg, or worse yet, their head to go in there, and then for them to get stuck or even feel like they were stuck,” said Corvallis Park Planner Jackie Rochefort.

It’s not just kids who can be in danger, city workers found a kitten stuck inside one of the holes Tuesday afternoon.  They set a live trap with hopes of safely catching it.

As for plans for the play area, city employees are looking into long term solutions.  If they can’t find a reasonable option, they’ll put it up for public discussion to decide how to replace it.

The dinosaur bones will remain fenced off until a solution is decided on and the problem is fixed.

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