Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

A neighborhood park in North Baker City will be a more enticing place for kids to play starting Monday.

A crew of volunteers is installing a playground structure this week at Cedar Acres Park, a half-acre site between Park Street and Idlewood Drive, just east of Cedar Street.

The city bought the structure with a $15,000 grant from the Ash Grove Foundation, said Joyce Bornstedt, technical administrative supervisor for the city’s public works department.

The piece features three slides, one of them with side-by-side chutes.

Workers are also installing a swing set, with two seats, to replace the one that was in the park for many years. The city removed the older swings this week because they no longer meet safety standards, said Bornstedt, who is a certified playground maintenance technician.

Until this week, the park had a picnic table but no playground equipment except the swings.

The playground structure will be ready Monday. The swing seats will be installed later next week because their concrete footings need to cure longer.

The Baker Lions Club also wants to add a horseshoe pit to the park.

Sandra Zimmer, who has lived on Park Street since 2011, said that although she doesn’t have children, she’s pleased with the work at Cedar Acres Park.

She said a group of her neighbors has met a few times, including with city officials, to talk about the park’s future.

“We’re really thrilled that our little park is going to be upgraded,” Zimmer said. “It’s greatly appreciated.”

So much so, Zimmer said, that neighborhood residents are baking cookies and writing thank-you notes for the group of about 15 volunteers who are assembling the playground.

Those volunteers are members of MACS — the Maintenance And Construction Section of the Oregon Recreation and Park Association.

Bornstedt said she learned about the group last year. The volunteers generally choose two playground projects to build in Oregon each year, and Bornstedt applied last year for their services for Cedar Acres Park.

The city supplied motel rooms for the volunteers, at a cost of $1,150. The city also paid $3,800 for wood chips that will be spread around the playground structure and swings.

The Baker Lions Club, Barley Brown’s, Sweet Wife Baking and members of the city’s Parks and Recreation Board supplied meals to the volunteers, Bornstedt said.

Debbie and Greg Brown, who have lived on Park Street for about 20 years, are certain the structure will have plenty of small fans from the start.

“I’m really glad they’re doing this,” Greg Brown said. “There are more and more kids in our neighborhood, and this will be really useful.”

Although the Browns don’t have kids at home, Debbie said two of their grandsons who visit occasionally, ages 8 and 12, “will really enjoy it.”

See more in the May 19, 2017, issue of the Baker City Herald.