Bear Creek playground heads to design

Based on community feedback, the Medford Parks and Recreation Commission on Tuesday may approve a new design to replace an aging and beloved play structure in Bear Creek Park.

The Commission at 5:30 p.m. in the Carnegie Building, 413 West Main St., will consider a proposal to build a larger play structure to replace the existing 30-year-old wooden playground.

The community met with playground designers Leathers & Associates on Oct. 26 and presented a number of ideas that will be incorporated in the design.

The proposed design would increase the play structure area from 9,500 to 14,000 square feet and include a spider bouncer trampoline, a down-and-back zip line, a wiggly rock wall, rope climbs, ladders, tunnels and more.

In keeping with the former 1980s design, the new structure has a maze-like castle design, but parents also wanted improved sight lines so they could keep an eye on their children.

Originally designed by Leathers & Associates, the original play structure was installed in 1987 following an extensive fundraising campaign and construction effort that included hundreds of donors and volunteers spearheaded by Kiwanis Club of Medford, Family Connection, Inc., and the city. 

The parks commission voted to replace the play structure in September 2016, and then approved $190,000 in funding for the replacement.

With grants, the cost for the replacement structure should be about $600,000.

A conceptual drawing of the replacement design shows similar castle-like turrets with long walkways connecting different parts of the building.

In addition to the main building and a few nearby outposts, the playground will have monkey bars, a balance beam, swings, a merry go-round, a clock tower, music area, tree steppers, a tree house, fire pole, spinner, four-seat seesaw, mushroom steppers, a castle rope climb and other features.

— Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or Follow him on





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