WENATCHEE — Slides, spinners, seesaws, a zip line, a pirate ship, maybe? Community members of all ages who have ideas on what they would like to see included in Lincoln Park’s new playground are invited to speak their piece at a family-friendly, social-distance-enabled drive-thru meeting Wednesday.

The Wenatchee Parks Department is hosting the event, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the park, 1410 S. Mission St. A drive-up lane will be set up on the Parkway Avenue side of the park, on the south side near the picnic shelter.

“We will have the playground manufacturer on site with display boards of the types of play equipment that might go in to the park,” said David Erickson, the city’s parks, recreation and cultural services director. “We are hoping people that drive by will provide feedback on which pieces they like the best so that the final design of the play area may be completed.”

Designers from Pacific Engineering also will be on hand to answer questions about the playground and other park projects.

Playground construction is expected to start next year, part of a $3.1 million park-wide improvement project that will include a soccer field, splash pad, pump track, second picnic shelter, new stage, new restrooms and safety fencing. Parking lots also will be resurfaced and striped. The hope is the entire project will be completed in 2022. The final cost is still be tabulated. It was estimated last fall at $2.1 million.

“It will continue to be refined as we move through the design process,” Erickson said.

The 22-acre park, which sits between South Mission and South Methow streets, bordered by Crawford Avenue on the north and Parkway Avenue on the south, has been losing structures for the past few years. Developed in 1969, restrooms, a picnic shelter, band shell and stage were added in the 1970s. Two decades later, in 1996, 1,600 volunteers built the Rotary Play Village in an intense five-day project.

Time took its toll. Trees were knocked down in a 2007 windstorm. The band shell was deemed unsafe and demolished 2016, leaving an open cement stage. The picnic shelter was torn down the next year. By then plans were in the works for replacements. A 1,500-square-foot picnic shelter, twice the size of the original, was put up in 2018 and the city started applying for state and federal grants to pay for the rest.

The city removed the volunteer-built wooden play structure last fall to make way for the new playground. Community feedback from Wednesday’s open house will help finalize the design for the new steel and plastic replacement that will be more open for safety and security, according to city postings.

The city has received grants to help pay for the improvements, including $520,600 in federal funds and two grants totaling $763,192 from the state Recreation and Conservation Office. Two grant requests are still pending with Chelan County, Erickson said. Local organizations including the Rotary Club, Fiestas Mexicanas and the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance also are contributing.

This past week, parks department crews planted 17 flowering pear trees along Parkway Avenue and more throughout the park, replacing some of the trees that were blown down. More trees will be planted after the other park projects are completed.

For details on the park, the playground or the meeting, check out the parks department’s Facebook page, or the website, wwrld.us/cityparks.

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