Parks board finalizes memorial recommendations

The Keizer Parks Advisory Board held its most recent meeting Tuesday, March 10. Here is what was discussed:

 The types of memorial donations accepted in Keizer’s parks will be changing. Members of the committee have spent several months debating whether and how to change the memorial policy, sparked by a donated rose arbor in Claggett Creek Park that is reaching the end of its life. 

No dramatic changes are being made, but even minor switches are intended to ease the burden on city staff. 

“When people have ideas, I like to meet with them onsite and discuss what is proposed. A rose arbor might not be accepted in the future, but you could do a tree,” said Keizer Parks Supervisor Robert Johnson. 

The proposed revisions allow existing memorials to be removed from parks if the case made for doing so meets with the approval of the parks board. 

• Johnson requested approval to move the replacement of a play structure at Claggett Creek Park up to the 2020-21 fiscal year. It had been scheduled for the year after. 

“That toy is continuing to see heavy use, and I think it’s important to get it done sooner rather than later,” Johnson said. 

Other improvements at the park, such as the recently-replaced sports court, are drawing new faces and leading visitors to the other spaces. Johnson said parks staff have put together a variety of repairs, but the deterioration is continuing. 

“It’s usable but at the very end of its lifespan,” Johnson said. 

The city plans to host public input sessions on the type of play structure they would like to see be installed before putting out a request for bids. 

“The one thing I want to make sure we do is have the pour-in-place surface. That has been huge for us in other places and opened up the playgrounds to kids with disabilities,” Johnson said. 

Members of the parks board were also interested in having a platform swing installed. A platform swing is designed for wheelchair-bound park visitors. 

• Johnson said city officials hope to launch a new park master plan effort as soon as possible in the next fiscal year. The plan revision will allow residents to chime in on the features that they would like to see throughout Keizer’s 19-park system. 

The main difference this time around is the city has a dedicated parks fund, the result of a parks services fee.