A new park in Canby offers a little something extra

by: SUE RYAN - A dinosaur skeleton is one of many new play structures at the City's new Northwood Park, located at 1300 N Elm Street in Canby. Careful, those old dinosaur bones half-buried in the ground could mean other dinosaurs are lurking.

A fun thought, but not likely. Just a bit of a theme going on with Canby’s newest park – Northwood Park at 1300 N. Elm Street.

The dinosaur bones and other items are there for children to play on and explore, according to Matilda Deas, senior planner with the city of Canby.

“There are the dinosaur bones, a small climbing rock, some little animals to climb on, a water fountain, pavilion with picnic shelters and walking paths with stamped animal tracks and information to describe what kind of animal made those tracks,” said Deas. “This was not our normal thing. It was part of the Northwood subdivision approval, but the land was dedicated for this purpose in lieu of park SDCs (system development charges). It was partially the developers vision of what they wanted out there – a kind of passive park.”

The park was put on hold for a while as the economy went south and questions about whether the development was going to continue. Approved in 2006, within a couple years, the building stopped and it wasn’t until things started to turn around in 2012 that the city went back to the plans and started to look at finishing the park.

“The developer put in some basic infrastructure out there – parking, lights, grass and irrigation – then the city finished things up,” said Deas. “A lot of young children practice soccer out there, so we wanted to keep an open space for them to continue to play – and we’ve done that.”

The 1 ½ acre project was put out to bid in August and completed in January for around $229,000, well below the expected cost of $300,000-plus.

“Times are still tough, so we were actually able to get a good deal and save some money,” Deas said. “We got more bang for our buck.”

The plan is for a ribbon-cutting when the weather gets better, likely late March.

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