Ten Years of Fun

Children’s Park, built by the community, marks milestone with Sunday work party


News intern

It doesn’t seem like that long ago since the Children’s Park of Hood River started serving the youth of the community.

Yet, this weekend marks the 10-year anniversary of the transformation of the muddy field on the corner of 9th and Eugene into the busy playground and outdoor community center that it is now.

“This is a stop we make at least once a week,” said Angela Lynn, a local mother spending an afternoon at the Children’s Park with her kids Grant, 6, and Brady, 18 months. “It’s a great social hub for the mommys around here.” Lynn sat with her friend, Sherie Zack, who was with her kids, Collete, 6 and Colson, 2.

The park was constructed with funds and materials that were provided solely by donors, and built by volunteers in five days, from April 21-25, 1993. To top that off, local kids designed the park, giving ideas of what they thought would make an ideal park, and making it a true community project.

Kym Zanmiller was volunteer coordinator for the project. “It’s been great for the community. There are always people there,” she said.

Designers for the park went to local elementary schools and got ideas from kids, asking them to design structures for it. “Each community that does this type of project is different. For example, in one community, swings were mainly what the kids wanted. But for us, slides were the big item,” said Zanmiller.

“The great thing about this project was that everybody could be involved. We needed two unskilled workers for every skilled carpenter we had. And you might be paired with the guy down the street who you couldn’t stand, but you would be working together to achieve one goal for the community,” she added.

Local businesses helped out by donating money, equipment and employees to help build the park.

“Thursday was contractors’ day,” Zanmiller said as she broke down the weekly schedule. “That’s when all of the wood work was done. Friday was business day, when businesses gave employees the day off to come help build the park.”

Zanmiller said the group also did a large amount of fundraising. One was a penny drive in which kids made penny banks to put near the cash registers at local businesses. “We raised one million pennies that covered the whole gym floor at the middle school,” Zanmiller said.

She explained that the park needs constant upkeep and that continued community involvement is critical. Weeding is something that always needs to be done this time of year according to Zanmiller.

In the meantime, the Children’s Park will continue to serve Hood River’s kids and their parents. “All they need now is a coffee shop,” suggested Lynn.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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