By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series reviewing area parks, in particular those in Keizer.

In a nutshell: Willamette Manor Park is a neighborhood park with paved pathways, big toy, some picnic tables and a sub-standard tennis court. Fencing provides shelter from neighbors.

Time visited: 3 p.m. on a Friday

Size: 2.4 acres of gently rolling terrain.

Who was there: A couple of teenaged bicyclists and a man walking his dog.

Where is it: Between 3rd and 5th avenues, next to Holiday Swim Club and a city pump station. Access from both 3rd and 5th. [MAP: 9]

Mowing level: Good, except for a few odd patches of weeds and long grass.

Random sighting: One courteous neighbor has a sign asking patrons to close the gate back once they retrieve tennis balls from their yard.

What’s there: A paved trail runs through the park to the eastern and western entrances. There’s five picnic tables with one covered picnic shelter. A portable toilet is allegedly there during parts of the year, but not during our visit. Several trash cans are scattered throughout the park. [MAP: 9]

For play, there’s a single basketball hoop that’s part of the tennis court, suitable for a half-court pickup game. The tennis court itself has a net, but is in pretty bad shape. Weeds are peeking through numerous large cracks on the surface. Trails are, for the most part, in good shape.

There’s an older “big toy” for children along with several swings. Most of the play equipment is in good shape, but large puddles form under the swings for big kids (although the floating wood chips provide an eerie ambience). The playground spring horse is broken.

There’s a large green space on the southern end. It’s surrounded by houses but almost all of them are fenced off.

Parking: On-street only.

Park history: It was assembled throughout the 1960s and into 1970 as builder Ron Jones constructed the surrounding subdivision. Lands were donated as required by Marion County ordinances. It was conveyed to the city of Keizer by Marion County on June 30, 1983.

The Parks Master Plan calls for: Upgrading play equipment, replacing the fountain and adding signage. Opportunities include thru-connectivity for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Staff comments: “It needs some work done on the tennis court. The play structure needs upgrading. It’s not an undeveloped park but it has a long way to go.” – Parks Supervisor Terry Witham.