A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Come summer, more shade

Written February 10th, 2016 by Hasso Hering
This arrangement of posts is what prompted me to wonder what it was for.

This arrangement of posts is what prompted me to wonder what it was for.

What are those new contraptions in Albany’s Takena Park, I wondered as I was riding past and saw them from the street. Four posts each, with connecting stringers at the top, like big four-poster beds.

“What you have seen is a shade structure, with permanent steel members and fabric which will be installed later in the spring,” Parks and Recreation Director Ed Hodney told me by email. “Fabric will be in place until it is removed for the rainy season.”

Two of these structures have been constructed at Takena, and similar ones are being installed in Lexington and Gibson Hill parks as well. Hodney says the project was identified in the last Parks Master Plan and in several subsequent updates of the city’s capital improvement program. At Gibson Hill and Lexington, money for the additions came from parks systems development charges, and at Takena from the parks fund itself.

I wasn’t sure about the need for more shade, especially at Takena with its many majestic trees. Hodney’s answer: “1) We removed an old shelter several years ago (unsafe) with a promise to the neighborhood that another shelter would be put in place; 2) shade from the trees doesn’t cover the playground/picnic area during the middle of the day.”

And the cost? When I asked, Hodney dug up the answer: “The shade structures were purchased April 9, 2014. The total cost for 6 shade structures was $43,722.  Each structure cost us $7,287.  We have installed them ourselves and contracted out the concrete work. — Lexington Park, $5,100; Takena Park, $9,600; and Gibson Hill is expected to be $5,000.” (hh)

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2 responses to “Come summer, more shade”

  1. Bill Kapaun says:

    Do they have any idea what wind speed it can tolerate?

  2. Shawn Dawson says:


    The poles seem like they are secure enough, judging from the photos. So it is just what the fabric can bear. You are correct though, that it can be a concern in the Fall, but should be good through the summer. Taking them down also saves the winter wear-and-tear and should make them last longer. Although in my experience, the sun does more damage to fabric than the rain.

    By the way, we learned this though experience. We have light poles and light fabric over our driveway to keep the our cars cool, as we do not have a garage. I didn’t take them down in time the first fall they were up. My (very nice) neighbor knocked on my door during some Fall winds to let me know my pole had been twisted by the wind, broken, and the entire contraption was now banging against the side of his house! I quickly took took care of the tangled mess. I really appreciate having such a nice neighbor, who found it rather funny and had a good sense of humor about it.

    I had to put in new poles the following summer. Ever since then, we make sure to take down the covering before the fall storms.


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