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.  

marche-chase-1

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.

marche-chase-2

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:

marche-chase-3

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:

marche-chase-4
Or go up the rope ladder, which is twisted and curves for an added challenge:

marche-chase-5

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:
marche-chase-6

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:

marche-chase-7

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 🙂

Advertisements

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.

20160811_121344
Where I park on Bond Lane, it can be pretty busy and full at times!
20160811_121406
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.

20160811_121428

Lots of apples falling right now!

20160811_121443

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.

20160811_110833

20160811_121505

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.

IMG_2435

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

IMG_2440

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

IMG_2438

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

IMG_2457

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

20160811_111011

The spider web!

IMG_2442

The twisty ladder.

IMG_2441
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?

IMG_2452

With a little “rock climbing” wall behind that.

And one big metal slide

IMG_2451
metal or plastic, slides just get hot in the summer!
IMG_2453
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.

20160811_121653

Pear trees too!

20160811_121639

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

IMG_2463

20160811_121915
There’s the park way back there!

20160811_121812

20160811_121949
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!

 

Gilham Park – Park Wood Dr. and Lakeview Dr.

Gilham Park has got it’s groove back!  And by that I mean that a few things that were missing are back. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

20151024_110708

Link to Google Map Result:
http://tinyurl.com/otw6ewx

Just a word of caution when heading to this park: when I type “Gilham park Eugene” into google maps, the first thing that comes up is the nearby “Gilham Elementary School Soccer Field.” Thanks Google! Not quite.  In fact, I think a few friends have gotten lost thanks to that, so here is the disclaimer right away: Don’t go to Gilham Elementary School! This park is nearby, and in fact, you can see the school across the field, but it’s not the same place. Also, guess what? This park is not actually on Gilham Road.  Haha, good joke Eugene!  I’m always a fan of parks named after the area they are in and not the road they are on so it seems like they should be on the road that there name is and NO THAT’S NOT CONFUSING At ALL.

So, check out the link above or just go down Lakeview Dr. to Park Wood Dr.  You will know you are in the right place if you see tall pine trees and very large houses.  Like, super really nice big houses. So, it’s a nice neighborhood, I’ll just say that.

Wheel Chair Accessible parking spot and parking on a relatively quiet street.
Wheel Chair Accessible parking spot and parking on a relatively quiet street.

Gilham park has both sand and bark chips, with water play in the summer.

20151024_110258
There’s a bouncer back there too.

20151024_110249 20151024_110226

If you’re like my son, you will notice the excavator first thing.  This was a nice little surprise for us because the excavator had been “out of order” for a very long time!  I was afraid they would take it away because people might complain it’s too “dangerous.”  Now it is back and actually less dangerous! It’s closer to the ground, so lots of kids will be able to play on it without their parents worried that they will face-plant right into the metal construction tool.

20151024_110133

20151024_110142
His feet can touch the ground!

The other thing that has made a triumphant return is the Merry-Go-Round!  This has been gone for a long time, maybe a year?  I figured they’d be replacing it with some “safe” equipment made out of plastic.  But, behold, it is back in all it’s fast, metal glory. Around the Merry-Go-Round and winding through the park are paths with soft blue rubber.  I really like how soft these are for little crawling babies and mama’s aching feet.  A nice alternative to the bark and sand area.

20151024_110444
Also pictured: quite a few nice benches for sitting and trash cans too

Behind the Merry-Go-Round is a bridge, that is very fun to run across, and some little paths in the trees.  It’s not like you are very far from the street or park, but it is a pleasant little area.

20151024_110500 20151024_110523

The play structure is one of the Kompany sets and it is also in the sandy area.  This can make it a little slippery at times.

20151024_110217

In the bark chip area is a baby and kid swing and a big bouncer.

20151024_110846 20151024_110311

Also this odd tunnel thing.  It kind of reminds me of a rib cage of dinosaur bones.

20151024_110328

There is a nice large field and the school beyond that.  If you come on a school day, and the kids are at recess, this does make your little preschooler wish he could go play with them.  In fact, I’m sure some little kids would be sad or even dart off to go join them, so keep that in mind if you have a runner.

20151024_110348
It’s back there and you can hear those kids having lots of fun! There’s also some nice picnic areas and trees in the field.

Here is something new I noticed: a mosaic four square court.  Also, the water fountains and bike racks.  No bathrooms here.

20151024_110615

I leave you with some cute kid chalk art, just because.

20151024_110836