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Park gets safer playground

Greater Poulsbo Kiwanis members will erect a new playground today. The club previously built this picnic structure.  - Brad Camp/Staff photo
Greater Poulsbo Kiwanis members will erect a new playground today. The club previously built this picnic structure.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff photo

Kiwanis Park gets upgrades.

POULSBO — Twenty-year-old Betty Iverson Kiwanis Park is getting brand new play toys today, and they’re the first of their kind in Poulsbo. The neighborhood park located on First Avenue near the Scandia Knolls apartment complex is the last in the Viking City to receive a play equipment overhaul. The construction will complete the city’s effort to bring all its parks up-to-date on safety standards and will provide handicap access to playground fun.

“It’s the last of our parks with playgrounds to have an old playground, so we needed to replace it,” said Poulsbo Parks and Recreation director Mary McCluskey, adding when asked if they’d like to volunteer for the task the Greater Poulsbo Kiwanis Club, which is building the component today, didn’t hesitate. “Of course, they jumped up and down and said ‘of course we would!’ ”

The unit will include a wheelchair ramp that leads up the structure, so those with disabilities can join siblings and friends and, depending on their handicap, can coast down a slide or simply enjoy the view and company of others.

McCluskey said she expects the accessible playground to attract more visitors to the park.

“One by one we’ve replaced every playground at all the parks,” McCluskey said. The city began its park replacement project in 2000 at Lions Park, and his since revamped equipment at Raab, Forest Rock Hills and American Legion parks. Each had been grandfathered past new playground safety code requirements, but with their new equipment now meet such standards.

“It’s just huge to have volunteer labor,” McCluskey added.

The Kiwanis club put together the picnic structure on the property, which is the first in Poulsbo to have been named for a specific person, McCluskey said. Betty Iverson, who died in 2000, was a well-known local volunteer. Abutting the park is the Mitchusson property, a 9.5-acre undeveloped park the city has agreed to sell to offset costs of its new city hall building. Tom Barfoot of the Kiwanis club said work Saturday will begin at 8 a.m.; between 15 and 20 club members are expected volunteer, and the community is welcome to join.

McCluskey said the city is paying less than $40,000 for the new equipment, which is worth about $60,000, thanks in part to a $12,000 grant. There is not yet enough funding for a swing set addition, she said. After Kiwanis members complete today’s building, concrete will be delivered Monday morning, and McCluskey said the park should once again be play-ready by Wednesday.

For more information, call the Parks and Recreation department at (360) 779-9898.

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