A playground for all opens to the community

The new Ober Park playground includes ADA-friendly play structures and exercise equipment.

After being closed to the public for a number of months, the Ober Park playground re-opened on Friday, Jan. 21, with new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-friendly play structures and exercise equipment ready for the community to enjoy.

The new structures replace the 20-year-old equipment that had previously stood in Ober Park that had shown signs of deterioration, which prompted the Vashon Park District to move forward with the playground project.

Included in the new playground are new ADA-friendly play structures for children and an arrangement of exercise equipment that is ADA-friendly as well.

The playground project was largely funded through a King County Youth and Amateur Sports Grant. Costs are also being covered by some levy funds and through donations from the Senior Center and Vashon Rotary. The total cost of the projects is $288,530, with $93,239 coming from Park District levy funds. The remainder has been funded through the grant and donations.

Members of the community are already out enjoying the park’s new features. Becki Eichner said that she had been out to Ober Park every day since it opened on Friday, and was pleased to see new features like the disability swings for those who may need them.

Sarah Collins also enjoyed having the exercise features, like the recumbent bike at the park. Collins said the bike was a great option to have to warm up during the last few chilly days on Vashon.

For Elaine Ott-Rocheford, the Vashon Park District Executive Director, seeing families and children back at Ober Park has been “really fun,” describing the first day having the park back open similar to a “festival.”

The Park District will also host a grand reopening of the playground from 12 to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb 4. Core Centric will provide demonstrations of the new exercise equipment, and free hot dogs will also be served.