The city is surveying utility payers about their level of interest in and support of Keizer’s 19 parks. Respondents are asked if they would support an addition of up to $8 per month to upgrade and maintain them.

Neighborhood and regional parks are a key offering of a city’s quality of life. People like parks and they help maintain property values. Parks, both big and small, are the recreation hubs in our neighborhoods.

The lack of entertainment and recreation options in Keizer have always ranked high on the livability surveys. Kids, especially teens, are notoriously hard to keep busy and engaged. Let’s face it, sometimes it is hard to keep grown-ups busy and engaged. Parks can go only so far. What if you are a household without access to a mountain or coastal cabin? What if you not a school or club sportsman? What can we do for those who live in Keizer, want to stay in Keizer, but need something fun to do? We should get whimsical.

We envision play stations throughout Keizer, along River Road, at the Civic Center, at Keizer Station and other public spaces.

What’s a play station? It can be a huge checkers board. It can be permanent chess tables throughout the city’s core (how about three at the McGee-Newton focal point at the corner of River and Chemawa Roads. It can be an over-sized Tic Tac Toe game,. It can be brain teaser puzzles that make passers-by stop and try to solve it.

Establishing components of an urban play station can be part of any renewed River Road Renaissance—if a business wants to get a city loan to upgrade their commercial property they must add a play station.

How would a series of urban play stations throughout the city be paid for? For starters, each station would have a fitness, educational, historical or art facet. Those are four areas is which grant money is available from a myriad of public and private sources. For stations situated in our parks, it can be funded with money added to the city’s utility bills (if that comes to pass).

A renewed River Road Renaissance would  have money available for stations along Keizer’s main thoroughfare.

The addition of urban play stations would be a project that maintains Keizer’s urban livability while helping to solve the issue of few entertainment and recreation choices for our kids and grown-ups alike. —LAZ