by: SUBMITTED PHOTO The approved playground equipment at Marylhurst Heights Park is inspired by nature.

Marylhurst neighborhood children will soon be able to play on equipment at Marylhurst Heights Park off Michlen Avenue in West Linn.

Last fall, work started at the 8-acre park. Now, the city of West Linn is ready to add the playground portion of the park.

During its Sept. 12 meeting, the West Linn City Council approved a contract for the equipment at the cost of about $92,000.

Parks and recreation staff and a group of park neighbors reviewed all the proposals and settled on a natural look for this park.

'It would add something unique to Marylhurst,' said Parks and Recreation Director Ken Worcester.

The playground will be nature based, with the equipment reflecting its natural surroundings.

Worcester said 'nature based' is the new buzzword for playgrounds. The play structures resemble the natural environment, like rocks, trees and water. Instead of climbing a ladder to get to the top of a slide, children can climb a rock wall. Other features include boulders to step across, a ledge and spider web to climb across and a hollow log for crawling through.

Worcester said the design encourages imaginative play along with building hand-eye coordination and upper body strength.

All the materials used are manufactured out of recycled and sustainable materials. The reinforced concrete will look like rock and the nets and ropes are Kevlar-coated steel.

Like every other playground installation in West Linn, this will be a community build. The project should be completed by the end of October.

The park's field and a portion of its parking lot are already installed. A pathway and labyrinth will be created this fall, also with an end of October completion date.

Future amenities include a spray pad, restroom and gazebo.

These features are currently in the design and development phase and are anticipated to be installed next summer or fall, according to Kirsten Wyatt, assistant city manager.

The total park budget is $1.3 million.

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