Lake Boren Park playground reopens just in time for summer

July 1, 2011

By Administrator

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It was love at first sight at the Lake Boren Park playground ribbon cutting ceremony June 16. Every inch of the new structure seemed to be occupied by a smiling child eager to explore the new climbing, spinning and sliding toys at his or her disposal.

Children play on the Lake Boren Park playground.

The modernized merry-go-round was among the most popular features at the Lake Boren Park playground ribbon cutting June 16. A $325,000 state grant funded the playground. By Tim Pfarr

The new playground was constructed this spring thanks to a $325,000 grant from the state, which was secured in 2010 by former state Sen. Randy Gordon. The playground opened to the public June 13, but hundreds showed up for the ribbon cutting, which followed the last day of school for students in the Issaquah School District.The playground features a modern style, with separate play areas for children between the ages of 2 and 5, and for those older than 5. Among the most popular features of the new structure are a fast, tilted merry-go-round, a modernized teeter-totter and climbing ropes.

After a series of short speeches from Gordon, Mayor John Dulcich and state Rep. Marcie Maxwell, Dulcich joined a dozen children armed with scissors to cut the ribbon and officially declare that it was playtime.

“I’m really ecstatic about how it turned out,” he said about the playground. “It turned out fabulous.”

Mayor John Dulcich joins a flock of excited children to cut the ribbon for the new playground.

Mayor John Dulcich joins a flock of excited children to cut the ribbon for the new playground. By Tim Pfarr

The new playground has been more than a year in the making. Gordon first brought the project forward for funding in May 2010 after safety hazards were found on the 15-year-old structure.

The Parks Commission held a public hearing last summer to choose a style for the playground, and the city selected landscape design firm Worthy & Associates to complete the design.

The playground closed for construction March 14, and Enumclaw-based Maroni Construction Inc. installed the new equipment, finishing its work in early June.

“It’s a really wonderful feeling. This is the kind of thing that warms you from the inside out,” Gordon said about seeing the playground completed, adding that he was thrilled to see children so excited about the new structure.

“I see the kids here, voting with their feet. This is the most important vote I’ve seen lately,” he said.

During his speech, Gordon said that the playground’s opening held a special place in his heart.

“Of all the things I did during my tenure as your state senator, the one I take the most personal pleasure in is this moment right now: seeing the kids play,” he said.

Dulcich presented certificates of appreciation to Gordon and Maxwell for their support of the project.

Ethan Jackson, 6, screams and holds on tight as he zips around on a toy in the section of the playground for children between the ages of 5 and 12.

Ethan Jackson, 6, screams and holds on tight as he zips around on a toy in the section of the playground for children between the ages of 5 and 12. By Tim Pfarr

The children continued to play for hours after the ceremony, as the event coincided with Newcastle Elementary School’s traditional afternoon in the park on the last day of school.

Children were quickly able to pick their favorite elements of the new playground, although some had difficulty articulating what it was they enjoyed, because the modern features were still unfamiliar.

“I like the monkey bars. It’s not like the regular ones,” said Lexi Morris, 8.

She and her friend Brooke Pedersen, 8, also took turns whirling each other on a spinning seat near the center of the playground.

“I like a lot of the spinny things,” Morris said, climbing back on for another round.

Todd Hanson sat with his son Bauer, 8, in the sunshine alongside the playground.

“I’m really impressed with the style of it,” Hanson said. “This is the first time I’ve seen it since they reopened it.”

Other parents, such as Ruthie Keyes — who came with her 2-year-old twins James and Julia — said she particularly enjoyed that the park was split for older and younger children.

“This was great,” she said as she pushed her children in the swings. “I was able to let them play, no problem. Climbing up, sliding down.”

For 9-year-old Elan Furman, the innumerable options made the playground a success.

“I think I would likely give it a 10 out of 10,” he said. “There are so many fun things.”

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