Fairgrounds Park was awarded three National Demonstration Site designations for Fitness, Play On!, and Pathways for Play. The new park held it's grand opening in June 2018.
The Oregon park district was one of 18 Illinois park districts chosen by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association and GameTime to receive a playground grant. The grant was used toward the redesign of a playground in Fairgrounds Park, located at the north end of town.
“The whole purpose [of the playground] is to increase the amount of physical activity for park district residents,” said Oregon Park District Executive Director Erin Folk. “Over 53 percent of district residents reside within a mile of Fairgrounds Park, and the park is easily accessible by bike or on foot, resulting in healthier families.”
A three-quarter mile trail loop is split into the north and south section, which both start and end at the playground. The loop will be used to incorporate fitness and play pockets along the path to extend the play value and keep children and parents moving as they move from one pocket to the next.
Each of the pods will include play equipment for children and at least three pieces of fitness equipment for adults.
“Integrating three of the design strategies identified by PlayCore’s National Demonstration Site Program resulted in many opportunities for multigenerational programming and an increase in physical activity from our community. Implementation of the modern design elements and play components alongside each fitness station, parents and children can now utilize the park amenities alongside one another.” said Folk.
PlayCore recognizes Fairgrounds as a Play On!, Pathways for Play, and Outdoor Adult Fitness National Demonstration Site following the research and programming of national demonstration site programs, designed by PlayCore and scholar partners to promote active, healthy lifestyles; physical activity and active play; and extended play value through playful pathways.
To continue to celebrate Fairgrounds commitment to advancing play and recreation through best practices, the park will receive a certificate of recognition, become a part of a network of potential research sites, and will be promoted actively to other communities wishing to create recreation spaces using design and/or programming.