Cook Park in line for 'inclusive' upgrades; community would like climbing, swinging, sliding equipment and more.

COURTESY PHOTO: TIGARD PARKS AND RECREATION  - Kids play on swings at the new tot lot in Cook Park.If all goes as planned, Cook Park will have a new play structure for older kids up and running in the second half of 2022.

Last month, the park attracted about 40 attendees during a "design day" to see what the public wanted to see in the new inclusive equipment at Tigard's oldest, largest and most well-known park.

The top contenders for attendees included climbing, swinging and sliding equipment.

In addition, attractions containing water or sand were high up on the list. Among the project values topping the list were a need for shade and trees surrounding the area.

Tigard spokesperson Marissa Grass said the parks and recreation department is hosting a design competition to replace the aging equipment in Cook Park, which was installed in 1993.

"Five locally based playground manufacturer representatives were at the Cook Park Design Day to hear directly from the community about what elements should be included in the design," said Grass, referring to a Nov. 20 meeting to gather input on the park improvements. "This project will be the city's first inclusive play structure, so (we) also wanted to hear about what inclusive elements should be considered."

In addition to the in-person design meeting, Tigard officials solicited ideas online.

"The goal is to provide an experience that is memorable for a lifetime," said Carla Staedter, engineering project manager, in a news release.

Parks officials have said they would like to create something memorable in Cook Park, along the lines of an iconic rocket ship slide, which was featured there years ago.

The funding source for the project will be through system development charges revenue, money collected from developers to add needed city infrastructure.

Tigard recently built a new "tot lot" park, which includes inclusive and accessible swings, musical features, tactile elements and more.

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