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Central Oregonian

Moving forward on Prineville's Stryker Park Playground Project

By Ramona McCallister,


The Stryker Park Playground Project is moving forward, and local residents will soon observe the interactive portion of the project come to fruition.

At a Prineville City Council Meeting two weeks ago, members of the Crook County Parks and Recreation Foundation provided a PowerPoint with conceptual drawings and renderings of the Stryker Park Playground in its finished form.

“Our goal is to build a large-scale playground at Stryker Park in Prineville. This playground will become a treasured asset for residents in Crook County. We desire kids and adults to have the ability to learn about our environment, our past and our future in a fun and interactive way,” said Andrea Weaver, recreation coordinator for Crook County Parks and Recreation District (CCPRD) and representative of the CCPRD Foundation Board.

The playground is a collaborative partnership between Crook County Parks and Recreation Foundation, Crook County Parks and Recreation District, Kiwanis Club of Prineville, Rotary Club of Crook County and numerous community stakeholders.

The funding will come from many different sources but not from taxpayer money. The overall budget will be approximately $1.7 million.

Phases of the project

The playground is broken into different phases. Harmony Freenotes will be installed during the month of March. Freenotes Musical Instrument Trail, featuring multiple outdoor instruments, will include a keyboard and xylophone.

This part of the project will have 16 different musical instruments on each side of the sidewalk leading up to the gazebo, including a xylophone, chimes, drums and many other unique instruments. Freenotes Harmony Park, out of Tennessee, will build this equipment, with ADA accessible paths to be used by all adults and children. In addition, the design accommodates people with different types of disabilities. The concrete pathway will connect the playground to a public transportation bus terminal on Fourth Street.

There is also an all-inclusive area, close to the road on Fourth Street. It is fully surfaced with rubber surfacing and includes ADA accessibility.

“It is very important for us to include,” added Weaver.

In a previous interview, Kiwanis member Wayne Looney noted that the idea for the Stryker Park Project was originally a dream of Duane Garner, prior CCPRD director. Garner had passed through the Tri Cities in Washington with his family, and they stopped to visit a park on the Columbia River. It had many of the elements that the current Stryker Park project has, and Garner was impressed with it.

Looney emphasized that in addition to Garner, John Bond, Crook County Parks Recreation District board member and project manager for the Stryker Park Playground Project, also shared the vision for the project.

Bond was inspired by a vision for the project from a park he saw in the past, where he saw the large musical instruments that gave him the inspiration for the musical instruments that will be in the Stryker Park project. He has an extensive background in construction and organizing projects.

At the city council meeting, Crook County Parks and Recreation Foundation member Carol Benkosky indicated that they have yet to go before the Crook County Court. They are currently applying for a grant from the Ford Family Foundation, which requires half of the funding secured prior to applying for the grant. She added they are still a little short of that. She emphasized that it is critical to get local funding and support to apply for this and other grants, as well.

The council emphasized that they would need to meet and discuss the request for funding for the playground. Benkosky noted that they have also applied for other grants and are seeking potential sponsorships and in-kind labor.

Bond indicated that they will be installing Harmony Freenotes soon, and this past week, Rosendin Electric installed the electricity for lighting to illuminate this portion of the project. He indicated that they have completed the funding for the 2–5-year-old playground area, which will be arriving between 20-24 weeks. The inclusive area -- from the bus stop to the splash pad — is awaiting funding from some large grants.

In the spring, poles have arrived for the canopies, and Bond indicated that they are hopeful to have those installed in the next month.

On the day before Easter, April 8, the high school band has been invited to come to the park and play. This will be a public event, with donuts and coffee. Bond said that they will have the instruments for Harmony Freenotes installed before April 8, as well.

“We have a lot going on,” he concluded.

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