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New playground being constructed at River Forks Park

The playground will include a rock wall, climbing structures, and a zip line.

Posted: Jul 6, 2018 6:13 PM
Updated: Jul 6, 2018 7:10 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Douglas County residents and visitors to River Forks Park will soon see a new play structure in the upper play area.

The park is located in the Melrose area, near Cooper Ridge Vineyards.

Douglas County Parks Department Director Rock Houston said the old wooden structure was deemed unfit for use a couple of years ago, and later demolished.

Now, the Douglas County Parks Department and Playcraft Systems out of Grants Pass will be installing new equipment for kids of many ages.

“They will have a climbing wall, a zip line, this kind of cool log, cave thing that kids will be able to climb all over,” Houston said. “Then your traditional, standard slides and things like that.”

The whole project will cost the county around $170,000 plus staff pay.

But, they were able to secure a state grant through lottery funds to pay for a good portion of that cost.

“$75,000 towards the project,” Houston said. “And this is just sort of phase one. We’re going to have restrooms here replaced in the next year or so, so we’ll continue to try to improve the experience here.”

The rest of the money will come from the department’s capital funds.

Houston said several people have been asking about Willy the whale, which has been in this area since the mid-Sixties. But he said there’s no need to worry.

“He’s still going to stay here, as well as the little baby whale,” said Houston. “It’s just that they’re within the construction zone, so for safety, as well as Willy has a little plumbing problem right now, so we have to dig him out to get him up and running again.”

After the equipment has been installed concrete will need to be poured and rubber pads will need to be installed.

They should have this park open before Labor Day.

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