A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A riverfront place to take your grandkids

Written May 2nd, 2024 by Hasso Hering

The playground construction in Monteith Riverpark as it looked on April 30.

The new playground in Monteith Riverpark is coming along, and now a couple of things I wondered about have been cleared up.

The playground is part of the reconstruction of the entire park, which itself is the major component in the $21.5 million Albany Waterfront Project.

I had wondered about the purpose of the big concrete hump or mound visible behind the swings in the photo above. And what was going to cover the concrete surface of the entire playground to keep kids from bouncing when they fall?

City Engineer Staci Belcastro is overseeing the waterfront construction and had the answers.

The design calls for a bridge from the concrete mound over to the play structure in the middle of the playground. So presumably kids can climb that little hill in order to then walk to the elevated platforms on the structure.

And on the concrete below? There is going to be a “poured in place” rubber surface that requires certain weather conditions to be applied. Belcastro thinks it should be able to be poured this month.

The surface will be in three shades of green. She described them as hunter green, bright green, and blue green.

The playground sounds kind of interesting, especially if you happen to have a 5- or 6-year-old grandkid you can plan to take to the riverpark after it reopens in July. (hh)

A rendering shows the bridge from the mound to the play structure. The ground is supposed to be green, not the colors shown.

14 responses to “A riverfront place to take your grandkids”

  1. Coffee says:

    In looking at the sketch, what keeps the kiddies from falling off the bridge?

    • Kiki says:

      Looks like it has thin mesh sides

    • Bob Zybach says:

      I thought the same, but it looks like they may have plexiglass sidewalls. My great-grandkids are 6 and 9 and they will love this place — we visit Albany fairly often for the Carousel, the rivers, and Hasty Freez vanilla ice cream. And the parks.

      • Amy says:

        Is it only grands with grandkids, or can actual parents bring their kids, siblings bring their siblings, aunties, uncles, etc. Be inclusive.

      • Coffee says:

        Oh, I see the plexiglass in the sketch now. Is there a new plexiglass that doesn’t crack and break easily?

  2. Kiki says:

    I thought it was being said we were suppose to be getting a Splash Pad also like what Corvallis has in that same area also, so we don’t have to drive over to Corvallis when we live in Albany … for our kids to enjoy a splash pad!!

  3. CHEZZ says:

    Great design, colors, many things to do!!!

  4. Coffee says:

    Wonderful. (Bulletin: My word, “wonderful” is somewhat sarcastic. I’m not pleased with the “cement” playground at Monteith disguised in green rubber!!) But, on the other hand, all the kiddies can go to Monteith Park and all construction of new dwellings does not have to have big yards for kiddies to play in….such as Sharon Konopa insists on.

    Currently taking the AARP driver’s course online. It says to pay attention to directional markings painted on roadway. Sorry, AARP. In Albany most all those markings are long faded and there is no money to keep the roads up to snuff. Have to have a new playground at Monteith, even though many of the other parks need major upkeep done.

  5. chris j says:

    It is sad that people want their kiddos to go play on rubberized cement and cubiclized equipment. When our kiddos have kiddos they will not take them to these awful playgrounds. Soft, untreated grass is safe to land on and is easier to keep maintained. Plexiglass gets gross quickly when they are used by snotty nosed little kiddos. Soon all our parks will be just giant hamster cages and dog parks. They will be needed by the people who live in the expensive apartment hives the city keeps promoting. I am so thankful that I had parents that taught me to love and respect nature. We grew up strong, healthy and happy in a small single family home with dirt and grass to play in.

    • Anne K says:

      Not every family can afford a house with grass and dirt. I too grew up with those comforts. As an adult though, I haven’t been able to afford a house, grass, or dirt. With three almost grown kids, I have always appreciated the city community play parks.
      Not only did they give my kids a place to play outside, the parks gave my kids more opportunities for interaction with other kids.

  6. chris j says:

    People should be able to afford homes and parks should not be made with plastic and concrete. The word “comfort” explains it all. Having a decent place to live and play is a necessity, not a comfort. Accepting substandard living is why we have progressed into expecting our kiddos to have less of what they need and more of what they want. My parents never were able to give us what we wanted but always made sure we had what we needed. The few minutes of “enjoyment” of these sterile environments is not comparable to the life time of health and sustainable happiness that simple living gives you.


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