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The little park by the Tualatin River has a new book box, and it will soon have a new ballfield.

PMG PHOTO: SCOTT KEITH - It doesn't look like much now, but this flat, grassy area where City Manager Mike Weston is standing will soon be transformed into a field for baseball and softball at King City Community Park.King City Community Park is a hidden gem that offers recreational opportunities for all ages.

Located off Southwest Montague Way near the Tualatin River, the park is home to playgrounds for families with children and vast, open spaces with room for pets or a game of Frisbee. The park offers recreational activities for all ages and activity levels.

City Manager Mike Weston noted a variety of amenities, including a basketball court that doubles as a volleyball court. Park visitors can also enjoy tennis, trails, playgrounds and picnic areas.

Recently, city crews have been busy handling maintenance issues at the park, including drainage.

"Last year, we had set out to address the lighting," Weston said, "and once we completed that task, we moved on to drainage, which had continuously plagued the park and trails.

"Sod built up along the trails, which prevented water from draining on the walking paths," he said. "The puddling caused the saturation in the soils, rendering the fields unplayable and the pathways unusable. So our goal was to clear the field of debris and address the gradients and drainages so we would have a consistent surface for outdoor activities."

Among the upcoming goals for the city park is a new baseball and softball field.

"We still have a few improvements to add," Weston said. "We also intend to purchase a commercial-grade mower to keep the field in pristine shape throughout the year. We will look to local clubs and sporting agencies to help build backstops and dugouts for kids' sports activities and camps."

Earlier this year, during the state of the city address, John Hanna of Southside Soccer Club in Tigard presented the city with a $10,000 check to improve the park. PMG PHOTO: SCOTT KEITH - King City Community Park features a play structure that is popular with the community's families. While it was originally incorporated as a 55-and-older community, King City has diversified in recent years and decades, and today, more than one in four King City residents is under the age of 35.

A new addition to the park this year is the Little Free Library — an outpost of a national organization. It's essentially a book box, offering books for all ages that readers can check out and return using the honor system. Book lovers can stock the library by donating books from home.

"We paid to register our Little Free Library and get the plaque from the organization," City Councilor Jaimie Fender said. "The plaque highlights that this was a partnership between the King City Community Foundation and the city."

Little Free Library is a nationwide program that puts free book exchanges into neighborhoods, and more than 90,000 of these public bookcases are registered with the organization.

The book exchange will help fill a void in King City.

"There is no citywide library in King City," Fender pointed out. "Certainly, the (King City Civic Association) has a library for their own homeowners' association, but there just isn't a larger citywide library, so we thought this would be a really cute way to fill a tiny little part of that need."

With the good comes the not-so-good. Graffiti was recently discovered at the park.

"I just want people to respect it and take care of it," Mayor Ken Gibson said of the popular community park. "We had the incident with the graffiti. We can't have people disrespect our community that way. We will do everything that we can to demonstrate that those kinds of behaviors won't be acceptable in our community."

That said, Gibson is proud of the King City Community Park and its recreational opportunities.

"It's part of the amenities of our city," Gibson said. "It's very important for me to have facilities for kids to feel comfortable being active. I think it's very important for every community — now we have basketball, we have tennis, we have soccer and, in the near future, we'll have baseball. I think that's a pretty complete recreational facility for the youth in our community, and for our adults — the community has a recreational facility that they can use for a variety of sports."


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