Fort Nugent celebration on Thursday

The City of Oak Harbor plans to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Fort Nugent Park Community Playground with a party and unveiling of new equipment.

Kaitlyn Novak

The City of Oak Harbor plans to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Fort Nugent Park Community Playground with a party and unveiling of new equipment.

The event is 1-3 p.m. Thursday, July 14, at 2075 S.W. Fort Nugent Ave. Everyone is invited.

The party at the park will include refreshments and balloons. Kids can paint a tile that will be added onto a tile wall installed a decade ago at the park.

The city plans to install equipment by the event, including a water bottle filler, which will allow kids and athletes using the nearby soccer fields to get a drink.

The park has no water fountain.

A similar amenity on Pioneer Way is well-used, said Sandra Place, city budget and purchasing specialist.

The city also is adding a set of outdoor drums for kids to pound on and a swing that allows parents and their children to ride at the same time facing each other. It’s called an “expressions swing.”

“When you’re on the swing, you can actually see your kids smiling,” she said.

Ten years ago the community came together to build the playground. The project included hundreds of volunteer hours. People chipped in to pay for equipment.

Place’s family, for instance, purchased a bench for the park in memory of her father.

The city worked with a premier nationwide playground builder to create a custom play structure for Oak Harbor’s children that included local touches such as a ship that says “US Navy.”

The company visited Oak Harbor schools and interviewed nearly 1,000 students. Kids offered their ideas, grown ups listened and took their suggestions with them. A community meeting was rescheduled so kids could attend.

The 11,000-square-foot Fort Nugent Playground includes swings, slides, a tree fort and climbing wall. There are features for visually and hearing impaired youngsters to enjoy.

“It’s an extremely popular park,” said Hank Nydam, Oak Harbor parks director. “It gets used continuously.”


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