MEDFORD, Ore. -- The New Olsrud Family Community Playground started construction in Medford Saturday. If you remember the old Bear Creek Playground was demolished in the middle of September.
With a little bit of hard work and the help of hundreds of volunteers who are tough as nails, the old Bear Creek Playground will go from a blank slab of cement and dirt to what will soon be Medford’s largest playground—the Olsrud Family Community Playground.
"I'm excited to see when it's done because seeing the before and after is a really cool thing for me," said 11-year-old volunteer Elizabeth Atkinson.
"What comes next is going to be bigger. It's going to be better and it’s going to do what the old playground did. It’s going to do the same thing for the next several generations. It's going to last longer too because it's going to be made with composite materials and it will have a much longer life cycle," added Medford Parks and Recreations Facilities Director Rich Rosenthal.
The old playground was 30 years old and constantly needed things removed to avoid any kids from getting hurt. So the Medford Parks and Rec Department had a few options:
- The department could either upgrade it but have it look like any other playground
- Get rid of it completely.
"We didn't think the community would accept that and we were right. We asked them and they said what we want is something like what you had only bigger, more accessible, same type of theme and that's exactly what they're getting," Rosenthal added.
Now for the next week, hundreds of hands will have a part in putting the park they loved as children so that their children can love it too.
"I do feel really good helping…the park…because I mean I was here when I was a kid, I'm a kid now, but I was here when I was younger. It feels really good helping the [community]," Atkinson said.
The Medford Parks and Rec still needs some volunteers from September 30th-October 6th. The department hopes to open the park by the end of October.