This blog post comes from a special guest and a close friend: fellow park frequenter, Deborah Fike. It is also a the first Springfield park for the Eugene Park Guide. I’m working on a few new entries that I hope to have out soon as well, so please look out for Filbert Meadows and Acorn park. Here’s Deborah’s guide to Pacific Park, with a few pictures and comments thrown in by me. Thanks Deborah!
We visited Pacific Park on February 2, 2016. It’s a brand new park in Springfield, opened in 2014. Google Map Link
If you want to drive here, you’ll have to use street parking. There’s plenty of parking in the area, but not many right next to the park itself. I suggest parking on Shadylane Drive for the closest access.
The park is in a neighborhood not far from Pioneer Parkway, close enough that you can hear road traffic. There are lots of grassy fields surrounding the park. Surrounding the fields is a neighborhood of unfenced duplexes. It definitely feels a little like you’re playing in their backyard, but during our trip, we only saw a few dog walkers.
A ditch also cuts across the grassy area and is not far from the play structures, which might be a problem if you have little ones who might want to play in it. We saw a lot of shopping carts in the ditch, probably because this park is not far from the Gateway Mall, but the park itself was well maintained.
Pacific Park has a lot of nice newer park features, the first of which is the rubber mats instead of bark or sand. My two-year-old fell several feet and personally tested it for you (not on purpose, of course). I’m happy to note she didn’t shed a tear.
Speaking of toddlers, the park is conveniently separated into two age-appropriate sections. We started near the 2-5 year old playground structure.
It’s pretty comprehensive for the little ones. There are several ways to climb – such as the climbing wall,
the rope bridge (note the megaphone to the left…there’s another one so kids can talk to each other on the other side of the toddler area), (Melanie note: we couldn’t get the megaphones to work) 😦
and some step stools. None of the climbing structures go too high in this section.
Melanie note: There is a little slide in this section, but it’s not actually too easy to get up to it. Even my 4 year old had a little trouble reaching from one step to the next:
And I know it’s for 2-5 year olds, but it’s a little annoying when my 18 month old can’t go down the smallest slide in the park. Back to Deborah:
There’s also a cool ball sorter and marble maze that little ones can flip around without losing any of the pieces. The other megaphone is next to the yellow ball sorter.
Next to the toddler area is a sand pit. As far as I can tell, the table does not contain a water feature.
In between the toddler/preschool play structure and the elementary kid play structure is this set of swings. There are two baby swings, two normal swings, and two full-bodied swings..
Next to the swings is a general picnic table area with a water fountain and bike racks. (This park does not have public restrooms.) You can see the tables and the play structure for the 6+ aged kids in the background.
The older kids play area also has a variety of things to do. On the side closest to the picnic tables, there’s a slide, some climbing bars, and a play bridge made of suspended platforms.
Unfortunately the first slide doesn’t have a rail for the little ones to hold as they climb to the top. (Incidentally, this is where my toddler fell and tested out the rubber mats for you.) It’s definitely for the adventurous!
As you continue down the platforms, you come to a rope wall, some stepping stools,
a bigger climbing wall, and a stairway that leads to not one, but two twisting slides.
If play structures are not your thing, cross the ditch via a bridge, and there’s also a basketball court with two hoops on either end. They appear to be of adjustable height. I could have easily slam dunked the one on the left side of this picture, and I’m barely over 5 feet tall.
Pacific Park has a lot of things for everyone in the family, from your young toddler to elementary-aged kids, up to even your tweens or teenagers if they like basketball or rollerskating. There’s plenty of places to sit and eat, and you can see most of the park from almost anywhere from inside it. Being close to the Gateway Mall, though, is a bit of a negative. I’m not sure if the shopping carts in the ditch indicated wider safety issues or was just a fluke. We had fun there, though, and we’ll be going again.
by Deborah Fike, a project manager and marketing professional with two young children.
Melanie note: The entrance sign shows this park is pesticide free, what a nice thing to hear!
Got me wondering if any of the Eugene parks were pesticide free, and it turns out they are. I think they should put up signs in the Eugene parks too, it would be nice for everyone to know. Pesticide free Eugene parks:
Awbrey Park, located at 4291 River Road
Berkeley Park, located at Wilson Street and 14th Avenue
Brewer Park, located at 1820 Brewer Lane
Friendly Park, located at W 27th and Monroe Street
Gilbert Park, located at 605 Gilbert Street
Rosetta Park, located at Rosetta Avenue and Evergreen Drive
Scobert Gardens Park, located at 1180 West 4th Avenue
Shadow Wood Park, located at 4400 Shadow Wood Drive
Washington Park, located at 2025 Washington Street
Hope you all enjoyed hearing from Deborah about this Springfield park. You’ll be hearing from me again soon 🙂