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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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