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Portland Parks & Rec installing new 10,000-square foot all abilities play area with accessible swings, trampoline

COURTESY PHOTO: PORTLAND PARKS & RECREATION - The groundwork has been laid and beginning stages of installation have taken place at Southwest Portland's Gabriel Park, where a brand new play area for kids of all abilities is set to open in spring 2022.Gabriel Park's playground may be inaccessible to visitors for awhile, but by spring, the park will be more accessible than it's ever been.

A massive renovation project is underway at the 91-acre Southwest Portland park at Southwest 45th Avenue and Vermont Street. Portland Parks & Recreation is installing a 10,000-square-foot playground for children of all abilities. The new play area includes a swing set, interactive sensory panels, musical play equipment, a spinner and a wheelchair-accessible trampoline. The park will also have an accessible picnic area with rubber surfaces, a climbing wall and climbing dome. The Gabriel Park upgrades are being paid for with funds from the 2014 Parks Replacement Bond and system development charges.

COURTESY PHOTO: PORTLAND PARKS & RECREATION - A crew sets up a retaining wall at Gabriel Park in Southwest Portland during a long construction project that will see a new, 10,000-square foot playground."This project is part of PP&R's goal to provide inclusive playgrounds in all corners of the city, including the already-built Gateway Discovery Park (East Portland), Harper's Playground at Arbor Lodge (North Portland), and Couch Park (Northwest Portland), to ensure all Portlanders have a place to play," said Mark Ross, media and community relations representative with PP&R. "The new playground at Gabriel Park will provide an inclusive play option for southwest Portland residents, including the families who live at Home Forward's Stephens Creek Crossing, a large affordable housing site less than a mile away."

By mid-October, construction crews had already done demolition work, installed rubber surfacing, new concrete for a pathway connecting Vermont Street to the new play area, and installed swing set bays, a slide and part of a tower bridge.

The playground area will remain closed during construction, as well as adjacent pathways and the restroom, but portable toilets will be available.

As for the park's beloved skate area?

"No impacts to the skate park – we know that is a huge, much-loved amenity for the community," Maija Spencer, senior community engagement coordinator for PP&R, said. "The new playground will be about three times larger in area covered, and it is utilizing an area that was previously just open lawn."

In addition to new play equipment, the city plans to plant 37 new trees at the site.

The park remodel project is expected to be wrapped up by spring 2022.

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