Grant to fund park upgrades

Written by Kelly Ducote, The Observer July 25, 2014 03:22 pm

The playground at Pioneer Park will get an upgrade thanks to a $40,000 grant. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
The playground at Pioneer Park will get an upgrade thanks to a $40,000 grant. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
La Grande kids will soon be playing on a new playground at Pioneer Park.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced this week that the City of La Grande will receive $44,260 out of the Land and Water Conservation Fund for Pioneer Park upgrades.

The funding will help renovate restrooms, complete an asphalt walking path and replace the playground at the park.

“What’s cool about this is we have enough to build a playground for the 
2- to 5-year-olds and one for 
the 5- to 12-year-olds,” said Stu Spence, La Grande Parks and Recreation director. “That’s the fun part.”

The playground area will be similar to that of Riverside Park, where there is some bigger equipment for the older kids.

The perhaps less exciting part of the grant will help cover much-needed renovations to the bathrooms, which Spence said were built in the late 1970s. The restrooms will be equipped with a new roof, fixtures and paint as well as auto locks.

“We do have a transient problem in this park,” Spence said.

The auto locks mean parks and rec staff can set the times for the bathrooms to lock up at night. They will be equipped with a panic button in case they lock while someone is inside, Spence said.

For the complete story, see Friday's edition of The Observer.