NAS Whidbey Island commemorates reopening of Costen-Turner playground

By Petty Officer Marc Cuenca

Navy Public Affairs

Capt. Matt Arny and other officials from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island officially opened a remodeled playground structure at Costen-Turner Memorial Park on Ault Field with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, April 22.

Costen-Turner Memorial Park is an expanse of land dedicated in 1995 to lieutenants Tom Costen and Charlie Turner, of VA-155, whose A-6 Intruder was shot down over Iraq during the first night of Operation Desert Storm.

“I believe these individuals would be pleased to see that there is an updated playground structure dedicated to their memory,” said Rob Lattanzi, base Community Recreation director.

The newly constructed playground was funded through a grant from Commander, Navy Installations Command. The old playground at Costen-Turner Memorial Park did not meet requirements for playground safety certification and accessibility. NAS Whidbey is the first base in Navy Region Northwest selected to receive a new playground structure this year,.

Mike Rowe, N9 Facility Support manager for the base, said that the updated playground now includes a flat deck formed from recyclable tire materials.

Other additions to the playground include slides, a ropes course and talking tubes so children can communicate with one another across the playground. For smaller children unable to climb, there are musical instruments in the percussion family for them to play with.

A new digital feature is also incorporated, allowing children and parents to use smart phones to download a playground app to search for images to interact with.