A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Spacious Deerfield Park due for an upgrade

Written February 26th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

Deerfield Park covers nearly 11 acres north of Del Rio Avenue on the east side of Waverly Drive.

Tucked away in the southeast corner of Albany, Deerfield Park is far from my usual bicycle routes, but the bike and I made it there on Feb. 24. I wanted to look around after hearing about plans for making changes in the park.

Signs poked into the ground confirmed what I had heard. They announce a public meeting on Feb. 28 to gather comments on what improvements people would like to see in this neighborhood park.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Riverside Community Center, the former Albany Senior Center, on Water Avenue at Monteith Riverpark.

I asked Kim Lyddane, the parks and recreation director, about what’s in store for Deerfield.

The latest master plan for Albany parks, she told me, called for improved play areas and pathways, more shade, and a “naturalized area.”

The plan was adopted in 2021. Since it was prepared, costs have soared. And a project the planners assumed might cost around $250,000 may now cost three times that amount, or more.

The original estimate won’t even pay for a new playground, Lyddane says. With that in mind, her department has budgeted $750,000 for the Deerfield upgrade.

In addition, she plans to ask the city council for permission to apply for a grant of up to $500,000.

“The park is 10.89 acres which is incredibly large,” Lyddane told me via email. “With that much space, it will take every bit of $1,000,000 to make even fairly basic improvements.”

The parks department will keep seeking community input through April. Then, the plan is to construct the changes in the spring and summer of 2025.

Looking around the park last week, I could see that the play equipment comes from another era and should be replaced. The park still has a couple of see-saws, which I think are kind of fun for little ones but fell into disfavor a generation ago because of the potential for kids getting hurt — and parks getting sued.

Lyddane expects a good turnout at the meeting Wednesday night and said, “I’m excited to hear what the community is hoping to have done with this revamp.”

If you or your children use this park and have ideas how to improve it, put that meeting on your calendar and be sure to show up. (hh)

This spiral slide dominates the playground at Deerfield Park.


You can still use old-fashioned teeter-totters at Deerfield Park.


Park visitors have been reminded about the Feb. 28 public meeting.



14 responses to “Spacious Deerfield Park due for an upgrade”

  1. Cap B. says:

    Hasso, You must be tired today (since you are nearing Biden’s age and have surpassed Trump’s by just a few years). You said in your blog post of Deerfield Park that the Riverview Community Center, which is the ridiculous new name for the Sr. Center, is near Bowman Park!

    Ok, back to the subject of your latest blog, just take out the playground equipment that is now deemed dangerous and leave the park to Mother Nature. Put in a few pieces of new playground equipment. Aren’t the dangerous see-saws you mentioned the same thing as teeter-totters?

    If it costs millions to fix a park, maybe that is why in one of your blogs you printed a post from a lady who said the North Albany IGA is now rounding up totals on receipts (with the permission of the customer, of course) with the coins generated by that going to Albany Parks and Rec!!

  2. Rachel La Brasseur says:

    I sure hope they keep the disc golf course. Upgrades to that would be cheap compared to the fancy ways they try to make areas “natural”

  3. James Engel says:

    What gives with the necessity to provide “simulating playground” equipment for the kids!! In my day in Portland I grew up near Laurelhurst Park. We used a bat & ball or a football or our imagination to entertain ourselves. We played Army, hide-n-seek, mother may I, rode our bikes around the paved pathways.. Those kind of simple things. To use a long ago movie line…”We didn’t need no stinking play equipment”..!!!

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Exactly! 4 kids were enough to play a “very improvised” game of baseball on a dirt/sand/rocky lot. The old brick school house was the catcher/backstop.

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        JE & BK…
        …and every winter we trudged to school uphill both ways in a foot+ of snow.. :-)

        • Bill Kapaun says:

          Growing up at the top of a hill in N. Idaho, I trudged uphill in snow if I wanted to get home in the Winter.. AGAIN, you show how disingenuous you are.

          • Ray Kopczynski says:

            Re-read my 1st comment slowly…
            OK – You trudged uphill to go home.
            Tell me – how then did you get to school? Can’t go uphill both ways…

  4. Mari says:

    Oh my gosh! Finally! They took out the Merry go round and left the two pieces of equipment that are falling apart! My children played there for years. They used to have softball and soccer games in this park. My grand children play there occasionally. But the slide is in horrible shape. And the ladder going up to the slide is..exactly like climbing a ladder there is no slant to it at all. But my children and grandchildren did and have survived climbing up it. Anyway so many years I wished I would have had the funds myself to at least replace the slide, it its old years.

  5. CHEZZ says:

    Financial reality hits once again. Remove the ‘teeter totters’, leave the existing equipment in place, add a few picnic tables, and trash cans and call it a day. Parks maintenance needs funds, so they can maintain what they have. There is nothing like physical activity; throwing, catching, running, letting those endorphins loose! Turn off that screen time and get the children moving!!

  6. Mona Norenberg says:

    I’ve loved going to Deerfield Park for many years. A port–a-pot like the one at Grand Prairie Park would be a great and much-needed improvement! And some park benches too, please.

  7. Jules V says:

    Do you know where we can submit our input? I was unable to attend the meeting and the signs in the park didn’t direct people to an alternative.
    I live near Deerfield Park. I walk my dog there often. The trees in the center are beautiful! I always see kids on the playground and people using the basketball court and playing disc golf. My biggest complaint is people treat it like an off leash dog park, despite the signs. I love the idea of a walking trail as the it gets really wet and soggy with huge areas of standing water.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      You might try the parks department Instagram site on Deerfield improvements: https://www.instagram.com/p/C3Ts6GFvAnX/
      There’s a “comment” button or link. Try that. As of March 3 it showed no comments yet. Otherwise, call the parks department and or write to Kim Lyddane, the director. The office is at the former senior center on Water Avenue.


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