Marche Chase Park – Chevy Chase St. and Regent ave.

Hi there friends!  Please enjoy another guest blog post from my friend Deborah Fike:

We visited Marche Chase Park on August 8, 2016.  

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Marche Chase Park is located just east of Autzen Stadium and the Science Factory.  It’s a very basic neighborhood park.  Not many people who don’t live here know about this place, so while you might see the occasional dog walker, you probably won’t see anyone else.  The park itself is in an established, older neighborhood.  Some of the houses and yards in the area are quite beautiful, making it ideal for a sidewalk stroll around the neighborhood.  

Ample street parking is available along both Chevy Chase Street and Regent Avenue.  I prefer to park along Regent since it’s a less trafficked street that dead-ends just a few blocks down. Here’s your map.

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The playground portion of the park has only one play structure.  (I wasn’t kidding when I said this park is basic.)  The play structure is optimized for experienced climbers, so I wouldn’t recommend this park for kids just learning to climb.  This makes this park best for kids ages 4+, although if you have a kid who either doesn’t climb well or is dangerous in high places, I’d wait until they got past that stage.  

The play structure is a great place to play pretend, whether your kids like riding pirate ships, pretending to climb mountains, or being in their own treehouse.  This side of the play structure has a simple slide and curved climbing ladder:

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To get to the top portion of the play structure, you have two options. The first option is to climb the bumpy faux rocks with no railing or support.  Even though the rocks are fake, they feel real, so it’s a great compromise between having sharp edges but really feeling like you’re climbing on huge boulders:

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Or go up the rope ladder, which is twisted and curves for an added challenge:

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If your kiddo can make it to the top, he or she will be rewarded with a steering wheel and a pole to shimmy down.  Again, great for pretending to ride the waves on a great big ship:
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Besides the play structure, the park has one bench, one picnic table, one trash can, and lots of tree cover.  No restrooms or drinking fountains here.  The other major feature of Marche Chase Park is the little wooded path:

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This path runs through a wooded tree area (complete with fallen logs) across the length of the block.  The play structure is mostly visible anywhere you are on the trail.  It’s a nice path for the kids to go “on an adventure into the forest” without parents being afraid of losing sight of them.  I’m not sure if there’s any poison ivy or oak back in the area, but there isn’t a lot of brush back there, so if there is any, it’s minimal.  My kiddos love going on these kind of hiking trips, and it helps you to get some walking exercise while playing with your children.

This park is super basic, but it does have a few advantages.  I’ve been here about five times over the last three years and have only seen two other people, so it’s quiet.  There’s not a lot of car traffic to worry about.  It’s got a lot of older trees for ample shade in the summer.  The wooded path makes this an ideal place to let independent kids go on their first solo “hike.”  And being so close to Autzen and the Science Factory, you can take a quiet break away from other, more hectic activities you might be doing in the area.

by Deborah Fike, a project manager and marketing professional with two young children.

Thanks so much, Deborah!!  I love the rock climbing structure, and my kids did too.  It reminds me of Disneyland 🙂

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Frank Kinney Park – 875 Martin St.

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Way down W. Amazon Dr. on Martin st, in the Fox Hollow neighborhood, is a pretty little park with a wilderness feel.  Here is Frank Kinney Park on google maps.

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We came down W. Amazon and turned right on Martin. We then went passed the park and turned around so that we could park right next to the play area.  They have an accessible parking spot which is always nice to see.  Martin St. is a nice quiet neighborhood, so it doesn’t feel too nerve-racking to park on the street.  The park is also separated from the street by lots of plants.

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Did you ride your bike?  They have bike racks and water fountains.  You can see a little dog bowl of water and there were definitely a lot of dog-walkers as well as joggers who would come through this park for water.  With an attachment to the Amazon trail system, this is a popular spot for everyone using the outdoor spaces in this area.  It’s neat to see people in the community enjoying the outdoors together.  However no bathrooms or potties here.

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Lots of pretty flowers were in bloom when we visited
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If you are walking around in bare feet, watch out!  A lot of these pokey little plants

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There’s a little path around the park, although there are a lot of dandelions growing in it, so it may not work great for little bikes.  There are picnic tables and also some shady areas in the grass to sit on.

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This park also has the beautiful tile work we see at so many parks in town.

So, the play area!

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It’s not a big one for swings, but it does have one baby swing and one regular swing.

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We also have a 2-kid motorcycle bouncer.

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Some cute kiddo stuck a flower in there 🙂

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A merry-go-round spinner.  You can also see the doggy bags, trash, and some benches on that side.

The main play structure is mostly made of wood and has a nice rustic charm.

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It’s actually very similar to the play structure in Rosetta Park, except for that the one in Rosetta is made of plastic and it has a slide!  So unfortunately, there is no slide on this structure for the kids who live for sliding.

There is a great climbing wall, as seen above.  And the below picture shows a rope where kids can climb down.  I know it’s a drop that makes some parents a little nervous.

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There’s a nice lounging area under the structure

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And a shady hut to be a little play house or fun hidden area.

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Frank Kinney also has a sand play area with water in the summer months.

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The sand pit area always seems to have some buckets or Tupperware for kids to play with, which I think is really nice of someone or some people who are keeping it stocked up.

Behind the sandy area is a pretty field for playing and running and lots of dandelions.

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There’s also a connection in the back to a little trail loop that we did.

 

There’s a little work-out area that the kids enjoyed

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And be advised about cougars and bears: this park is so close to the real wilderness experience at the edge of Eugene!

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Being pretty far out, another issue was that I didn’t have cell service in the park itself, only when we went on the little walk.  So this might be a big downside, unless you are ok with being unplugged.  Verizon did seem to have service in this area, though.  But it does make you hesitate and think about “what ifs” in cases of emergency when you really need a phone.

Frank Kinney Park may be on the outskirts of Eugene, but I love seeing all the trees and hills of the close-by forest.  It’s a quiet park where you can hear the birds and chirps of insects.  It also has such a nice wood play-structure, even if there is no slide.  I like to be there with friends so that the no cell-service doesn’t make me so nervous. Even though it’s a drive, it’s a park with a nice feel and worth visiting sometimes.

Bond Lane Park – Bond Ln. and Chasa St.

Brace yourselves: this park has a dinosaur.

IMG_2434Ok, so that’s not all they have at Bond Lane park, but I think my inner child is pretty much obsessed with the big purple dinosaur bouncer.

Bond Lane Park is nestled in the neighborhoods off Cal Young, here’s a link to the map. And actually, there’s a really nice 360 degree picture that someone has uploaded to google maps, you should check it out!

You can get to Bond Lane Park from a few different directions, like Norkenzie, or Goodpasture Island road.  I like to park right on Bond Lane.  I don’t park down Chasa st. because, even though it’s a bit closer to the play area, I don’t like crossing the street with my kids, and there is no parking on Chasa st. right next to the park.

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Where I park on Bond Lane, it can be pretty busy and full at times!
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Chasa St, beside the park. Sorry you can’t park next to the park!

A little stroll across a shady field to get to the play area.

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Lots of apples falling right now!

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Where would you like to sit?  There are quite a few picnic tables and lots of shade on the grass for laying out a blanket.

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The play area itself was partially in the shade for early on. I expect the play area to be somewhat sunny, but what I didn’t expect was no water fountains!!  We were pretty thirsty by the end of our play-time.  Bring extra water to this park!

Of course, the dinosaur is awesome, and seats two kids.

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You can see that there are just bark chips here.  Also a nice metal merry-go-round.

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(I love it when the bright paint starts to chip)

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And we’ve got our two baby swing, 2 kid swing set-up.  Yay, for two baby swings!

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I like the play structure, it has some unique climbing features.

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The spider web!

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The twisty ladder.

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This one can get tricky for the really little ones: they start up thinking it’s a regular ladder then get in over their heads as it twists!  So, I try to keep an eye out for my youngest guy.

Some, what are these, leap pad things?

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With a little “rock climbing” wall behind that.

And one big metal slide

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metal or plastic, slides just get hot in the summer!
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My kids like to play at these little windows.  Would you like some bark chip ice cream?

We also went to explore the pathway in the back of the park. That tree in the picture has a sign warning about some future herbicide spraying.  I’ve noticed this at some other parks lately too, but I’m glad they are warning people.

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Pear trees too!

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Going down a little path in back, a nice exploration.

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There’s the park way back there!

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Some construction nearby.

We walked until we reached a neighborhood on Happy Lane and then headed back.  It was a nice little walk and the paths were well-tended to.

Bond Lane Park is a nice and shady park, on a quiet neighborhood road.  The dinosaur is a unique detail, and I really enjoy the big trees.  I was disappointed about the lack of water fountain though.  Hopefully someday I will be writing an update about the city adding a fountain to this park. In the meantime, if you bring some extra water on the hot summer days, you will have loads of fun!

 

Candlelight Park – Royal Ave. and Throne Dr.

This week’s post is by guest writer Deborah Fike, who also did the Pacific Park post awhile back.  I’ll be adding my thoughts as well.  Here’s what she has to say:

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Candlelight Park is in west Eugene off Royal avenue, to the west of Beltline.  It’s a fairly big park with lots of amenities: a dog park, a playground, a basketball court, a soccer field, and a short series of trails.  Here’s the park on google maps.

There is parking all along the street on Welcome Way and Throne Drive. Parking on Throne Dr. will put you closer to the play area and dog park .  It shouldn’t be hard to find a spot unless there’s an event going on. The park is in a very nice, newer neighborhood, and all the people I have met on the park on three different trips were incredibly friendly.

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Melanie says: If you park near the dog park, there is a neat little community board.

When you turn on Throne Dr. from Royal Avenue, the first thing you will see is the enormous dog park.  The dog park is divided into two sections and is separated by a creek from the rest of the park (although I have never seen water in the creek).  The dog park has a lot of plastic chairs for owners to sit on and some wading pools.  Whenever we’ve gone, there are always lots of people out with their dogs, so even though I have never used this part of the park, it seems pretty popular.

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Just north of the dog park is the playground:

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For swings, we have two kid swings and one baby swing. 

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You can also see the trash cans, bike racks, picnic tables, and a water fountain

Two bouncers and a climbing fire truck.

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A merry-go-round.

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Melanie says: The merry-go-round seemed a lot higher compared to ones in other parks.  My almost two-year old couldn’t get on it by himself (he usually can).  Not a huge deal, but it did make me think I wouldn’t want anyone to fall off of it!

And the highlight of the park, the large climbing play structure.  For any kid who loves to climb, this thing has it all.  You can climb by a circular rope ladder and a climbing wall:

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You can also climb up more traditional ladders, up stairs, and through a tunnel with little windows.

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Melanie says: My younger son always loves the wheels!

For kids with more upper body strength, you can be a monkey on this twirling hanging bars.IMG_1571

And there are slides for everyone.  A double slide for two kids to go down at once.

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Plus the big granddaddy slide that gives you a nice twisty ride from the tallest point of the play structure.

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If your kids aren’t much for climbing, there’s plenty of park benches for eating and a basketball court with two hoops.

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Beyond that is a very large soccer field with two nets.

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If your kids like to go “on adventures” like mine do, there is also a short trail system that connects the back-end of the kids’ playground and the dog park together.

There’s even a cool little bridge going over the (dry) creek.

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Dry Creek Bed.

 The playground itself doesn’t have a lot of shade, though, which will make this a very hot place to be in the worst of the summer heat.

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Melanie says: I agree, these small trees might make good shade some day, but not yet!

 It also doesn’t have any public bathrooms, so make sure the kids go before you leave the house.

All in all, I love this park.  I often go here with my kids after a trip to the WinCo on Barger.  It offers a lot without having any sand or water features, which can be nice in the summer when you really don’t want to have to clean up after a park trip.

by Deborah Fike, a project manager and marketing professional with two young children.

Melanie Says:  I love how this park is surrounded by fields.  We aren’t a big dog family, but we were never bothered by any dogs, and it’s fun to watch them play in the designated area.

 

Royal avenue is a busy street, and it’s a bit loud, but it’s nowhere near the play area, so that was OK.

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We enjoyed this park too.  It’s in a nice neighborhood, has fun structures, and places to explore.  Thanks for the write-up, Deborah!

 

Fairmount Park – E. 15th Ave. and Fairmount Blvd.

Before I dive in, first let me say thank you!  The Eugene Park Guide is one year old.  It’s been a lot of fun exploring parks and sharing them with you.  I hope that the information has been helpful to you and maybe even encouraged families to visit more parks in our beautiful city.  The outpouring of interest and support has really made me consider putting more love into this blog: instead of being a straightforward info blog.  So if you’d like to see more interesting photos or any other improvements let me know!  As of now, once a month is about what I have time for, but I hope to post a bit more frequently this summer to get my followers more information during summer break.

I have gained a lot of new followers since I started, so if you’d like to go back and visit my first post, check out Bethel Community Park.

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Ok, now onto Fairmount.  This little park is in South East Eugene, off Franklin Boulevard. It is at the base of the hill on which Hendricks Park is located (does that hill/butte have a name? Let me know if it does!) and just past the eastern edge of the University of Oregon. I have always wanted to call it FairMONT, but beware; it is FairMOUNT.  Here is your map.

Your parking will be on the street, either right in front (north side of the park), or on the side (east side of the park). There are paths to the park on either side. (left photo is north, right photo is east)

 

Even though the street curves around the park, there isn’t too much traffic, and most cars are at least slowing a bit to go around that curve.  Plus, there is enough brush, bushes, and grass to act as a barrier, so I don’t feel like the street is much of an issue.

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E. 15th street curves around the park and turns into Fairmount Blvd (there’s a stop sign at the corner that says you don’t have to stop if turning right).

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The other two edges of the park are bushes and fenced in area.  It give the whole park a nice enclosed feeling.

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If you enter on the east side, you get a nice little information kiosk, with lots of info about Hendricks park and events there.

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As you enter, there is a big grassy area.  It’s a nice little field for playing ball or running off some energy.

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The park itself doesn’t actually have a play structure, per se.  It has 4 main pieces of play equipment: A large slide, swings, a see saw, and merry-go-round.  All of these are on sand.

 

As you may remember from my Tandy Turn post, that many parks have been converted from sand to bark chips.  I’ve contacted Eugene Parks & Rec to see if they plan to change Fairmount park as well.  I’ll let you know!

The big slide is a lot of fun and there is often a line when there are many kids playing at Fairmount.

It’s a bit tall for the really little ones, and it can get a bit slippery to climb up if there’s too much sand on the steps, so watch out for that.

The see-saw is a nice old-fashioned, metal and wood teeter-totter.

I know some parents aren’t a fan of these.  They aren’t as easy for kids to use on their own as the newer style of bouncer see-saws.  I like them though. Really feel the burn in your thighs as you help your tiny toddler go up and down!

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Standard swings: 2 kid, 2 baby (bucket style seats).

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Another “classic” style feature is the metal merry-go-round.  We love stomping on it and making big noises.

Next to the play area is a nice picnic area, with beautiful wooden picnic tables and some trees for a bit of shade.  The whole park has a shady feel, although the play area itself is mainly shady in the early morning or evening, when the sun is behind the trees.  There are lots of nice benches to sit on around the park, in addition to the picnic tables.

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Pretty wood. I have no idea what kind this is, maybe someone else knows 🙂

There are also lots of Oregon Grapes around, our state flower!

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On the other side of the picnic tables is the water area: lots of fun to push the button to turn them on and run around in the water!!

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Two things I wish were better: 1. The button needs to be pressed frequently to keep the water on.  When we were there sometimes a kid or parent would just stay by the button and press it over and over for the other kids. 2. The basketball hoop is right above the water area, which created some conflict when basketball players and kids playing in the water were cramped for the same space.

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On the other side of the water is a bathroom. I was actually pleasantly surprised that it was clean and did not smell terrible when we were there, I had no problem using it.  You may want to remember your own hand sanitizer, because there was none provided, but there is toilet paper.

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Fairmount is also a location frequented by some local day cares and preschools, so some mornings there were a lot of kids there and it was very crowded.  But it’s also nice to have lots of kids around to play with and to hear so many happy voices.

If your kid likes to run and climb on play-structures, then this park may not provide them with a lot to do, but it helps if you have a ball to play in the field with or some sidewalk chalk handy.

I like Fairmount Park, it’s a nice shady little park with some old-school play equipment that can keep get you cooled down with water play.  I hope you’ll check it out!

 

Crescent Park – 2725 Martinique Avenue

Crescent Park is in the Coburg Rd. area. Here’s the map.

Update: For those of you who read this post before 5/17/2016, I’m happy to report that the map issue I had previously talked about seems to be fixed.  Searching for Crescent Park, Crescent City Park, or nearby parks in that area no longer results in the wrong location.  (Showing a park where there is no park). The green area previously labeled “Crescent City Park” is no longer labeled.  I was able to discuss the issue with a Eugene Parks & Rec employee and submit a change to Google.  If anyone notices any prevailing issues, please let me know.  Below is a map that shows the problem as it was, and a new map.

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Previous issue
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Corrected as it now appears in Google maps.

The neighborhood on Martinique reminds me of the area around Gilham Park:  very nice, big houses, signs that announce the name of the community, kind of what you expect in a lot of Coburg rd. neighborhoods.

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The parking for this park is on the street. The traffic is moderate, but not too bad.

The layout is kind of a big oval surrounded by a path and trees.  Inside the oval is the play area and a large grassy area.

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The play structure has a nice variety of what you expect and some interesting details too.  It’s an easy climb for the littles to get up, but it also has some challenging bars and climbing structures.

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The three slides give you a lot to enjoy.  Take a wide, small slide with your toddler, or go on a big bumpy slide with your preschooler.  Or just let them go on the curved slide on their own.

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I like the big soft area at the end of this little slide (the rest of the play structure area is bark chips, which is great too).  And everyone loved the race car to the left of the little slide.

There’s also a nice little area under the play structure for pretending you have a restaurant or shop.  It’s also a chance for a little shade.

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One unique thing I really liked (and my preschooler did too) was the little rope bridge.

He called it an alligator pit 🙂

On one side of the pit, there are some handles to swing on.  They seem super high to me, though.  Maybe someone with older kids can chime in, but it didn’t seem like anyone who hasn’t been through a puberty growth spurt would be able to reach those.

20160411_110929sorry, no. 😦

This park has my favorite swing set-up, with the baby and kids swings side by side, and near enough to everything else to keep an eye on everyone.

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I have to say, though, this is another park I might warn against for toddlers who like to bolt.  My littlest was very tempted to go down the sidewalk paths to the slopes that lead right into the street.  That made me uncomfortable, but he did learn not to go on those paths.

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Some moms that I saw there (recognized my son from the blog!) really liked the path that leads around the play structure area for riding bikes and scooters. (Tandy Turn was another that had good pavement paths for this).

There are some nice shady benches to sit on.

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There are also a few trees on the other side, in the grass. Nice place for a picnic.

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Or you could have a picnic on the table by the basketball court.

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Two hoops back to back. You’ve also got your water fountains and bike rack here.

Lastly, I took a little walk all around the big grassy field.

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A pretty good place for kites and frisbees

This is a nice park, although it does get a bit hot since the shade is mostly around the edges. I know we’ll visit again since my son loved his “alligator pit” so much.  There have also been a lot of kids there when we have visited; it’s not an isolated or lonely park.

One more thing to think about: When we visited, I got to talk to a mom whose son who has a severe peanut allergy.  I didn’t even know that a child who has eaten a peanut butter sandwich and plays on the structures, can leave enough peanut residue behind to put her son in serious danger.  It’s something to think about when you are packing a lunch for the park, that we all have a right to share.  Now we’ll save our peanut butter for days when we aren’t going to the park to play.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to check out my other endeavor below. 🙂

etsy

Filbert Meadows Park – Hyacinth St. and Naismith Blvd.

Filbert Meadows is another North Eugene area park, kind of in between Arrowhead park and Awbrey park.  I has a nice neighborhood feel that reminds me of Brewer park; drive up street parking, lots of plants and trees, and beautiful tiles speckled throughout the pathways.  Here is the map link.

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Accessible parking, beautiful fence and foliage

 

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Lots of neighbors walking through with their dogs, so I’m glad there’s a little dog baggie station 🙂

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The tile mosaics in Filbert Meadows are a fun little “seek and find” game.  We had fun running around to find them all.  They aren’t really hidden, per se, but it’s a nice little diversion just the same. Here’s one!

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On the right side is the sandy play area. I like the big rocks, they remind me of a Japanese Rock Garden, and my son really liked climbing them.

20150924_120742There are a few bike racks back there and trashes around the park, but no bathrooms.

And on the left is our play structure over the bark chips.

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See Saw

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A car to play on and 3 spinny things!

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The swing set up is two kid swings and one baby swing, which I’ve mentioned before is not my favorite (when we go to parks with friends it’s nice for two little kiddos to swing at the same time; nice for the kiddos and the moms!)

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For the most part I like the play structure. There are a lot different choices for climbing and swinging.

What I don’t like, and is a common problem with play structures, is that the two main areas on the play structure are separated by the red climbing web. IMG_0838

My little one can’t cross that or climb the verticle climbing wall, and thus can’t get to some of the fun parts of this structure. So, I have to awkwardly help him up there just so he can spin the little wheel, which is generally something for a toddler.

On a lighter note, this is the first park I’ve been to where the speakers worked (the ones where you can talk to each other from across the play structure), so that was neat. It also has a little ledge below for playing restaurant or store.

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Hey, look at that! There’s a little filbert! AKA hazelnut.  Filbert Meadows actually has a little old filbert orchard full of beautiful filbert trees. Did you know that Oregon produces 99% of the U.S. hazelnut crop?20150924_12213320150924_120623

There are some picnic tables speckled in there. Oh, it looks like such a nice place for a picnic.  There are also some nice shady picnic tables near the basketball field.

And the water fountains there too.

That brings us to the field area, which is very pretty and has some paths to explore.  There’s also a large hill to climb.

IMG_0881IMG_085720150924_12112420150924_120834We like this park.  I love the unique features like the filbert trees, the meadow, the big rocks in the sand, and the tiles.  Try it out some time soon as the weather starts getting nicer.

Feel free to check out my other endeavor on Etsy.  Thanks for stopping by!

 

Pacific Park – 2163 Shadylane Drive (Springfield)

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.

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Park Entrance

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.

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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.

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Speaking of toddlers, the park is conveniently separated into two age-appropriate sections.  We started near the 2-5 year old playground structure.

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It’s pretty comprehensive for the little ones.  There are several ways to climb – such as the climbing wall,

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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) 😦

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and some step stools.  None of the climbing structures go too high in this section.  

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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:
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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.

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Next to the toddler area is a sand pit.  As far as I can tell, the table does not contain a water feature.

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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..

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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.

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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.

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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!

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As you continue down the platforms, you come to a rope wall, some stepping stools,

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a bigger climbing wall, and a stairway that leads to not one, but two twisting slides.

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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.

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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!

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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 🙂

 

Oakmont Park – 2295 Oakmont Way

Oakmont park is right across from the Oakway Center Mall on Oakmont Way. Here’s the map.

I think that’s kind of the best thing about this park.  Grab a coffee at Starbucks, browse Old Navy, then stroll over to the park to let kids blow off steam.  Then you can head back to the mall for a potty break any time.  It’s a busy area, but that means a lot of people and company for your outing.  The crosswalks are well marked, and there’s parking on the street by the park if you don’t need to visit the mall.
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This park has wood chips under the taller play structure.  Here’s the nice rock-wall.

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Then we have our large sandy area with the smaller structures; bouncers, a little car (complete with two steering wheels which, while impractical for real cars, is advantageous for play cars with two or more drivers).  Lots of picnic tables and benches too.

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The raised, soft walkway separates the sand and bark chip areas.  It’s a little hard to navigate for new walkers, but they figure it out.

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I love this little house in the sandy area.  It’s a nice place to retreat to if it starts to rain.  It can also be a castle, restaurant, or cave, if needed.

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I haven’t actually been here when this water area is on and working, so perhaps we will revisit this park later.  If you have some feedback on the water area, comment below! Aren’t those mosaic animals beautiful, though?

There is a large field and paths to explore that lead to other neighborhoods.  A basketball hoop, water fountain (not on in the winter), trash can, and bike racks.  There’s also a quaint little hill for contemplating life and watching the construction at the Mall.

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One path leads to Frontier dr.

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And the other leads to Bedford Way.

So, I do like this park a lot, but there are some things about the play structure that I should mention.  First of all, it’s not a great set-up.  The things that the littlest kids will like the best are harder to get to, like the car wheel that’s at the very top of the structure

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…or the smaller slide that’s not easy to get to either. You have to go across this bridge:

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Now, I’m not opposed to challenging my kids.  I consider myself a pretty “free-range” parent and I like to let my kids explore on their own.  But, that being said, I think some kid has fallen off this thing every time we’ve been there.  It’s Eugene, it’s wet, there’s only a hand rail on one side.  I’m not opposed to the occasional cut or scrape, but I don’t actually want my kids to fall all the time. Same goes with the bouncy bridge:

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There’s such a huge gap between the railing and the bridge, I’ve seen kids fall off this one too.  The metal is slippery, unlike some of the wooden bridges at other parks.  My little 18 month old wants to go across this and it’s a little scary.  But I can’t blame him because all the stuff he wants to do is across these bridges!
So, not my favorite play structure. (By Game Time, btw, if you’re keeping score)
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There are a few other neat things

A steep tunnel, some unique monkey bars and a wavy mirror to name a few.

There is a spinny thing:
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I don’t know what those are called, if you know, please comment below.  Anyway, this one is a bit taller than usual, which is either more fun, or harder to use depending on your child.  There’s also a baby swing and kid swing.  So, if you’re kids are big on swings, this is not the park for that.

All in all, I like this park and I’ll continue to visit it, in spite of the high fall ratio.  I guess that’s just the kind of mom I am.