Recess is about to get a whole lot more fun.

With money raised through years of fundraising efforts, the Clackamas River Elementary PTA and the Eagle Creek Elementary parent groups have purchased new playground equipment.

Darian Krieter, head of Eagle Creek Elementary’s parent club and member of its Site Council, explained that last fall an inspector declared several pieces of the school’s playground equipment unsafe. Equipment including a slide and tractor tires were removed from the playground.

This left the playground a little less than desired, especially from a kid’s point of view.

The parents had money saved from fundraisers throughout the years. And so, last fall they surveyed the students on uses for the money.

No real surprise here: The students wanted a new slide.

“The Site Council thought it was sort of an urgent need and (Principal) Dan (Draper) did too,” Krieter said.

Krieter added that she thought that if the Site Council hadn’t taken on the project, she’s sure Draper would have.

With the closing of River Mill Elementary, its special education students moved to Eagle Creek.

An Eagle Creek Site Council mom approached Shannon Powell, Estacada School District’s director of special services. Powell was able to direct special education funds to the project.

“That opened the budget,” Krieter said. “So we’re going to be able to install a little more than a slide.”

Once they’d settled on a manufacturer, the parents decided to have the students vote on the play structure they wanted.

On the last day of school, they walked from classroom to classroom gathering student votes.

The students chose a play structure with two slides, a display panel, a tire climber, a pipe wall, stairs, a wheelchair-friendly transfer station and more.

The structure is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.

Krieter said that kids, parents and educators alike are excited about the new equipment.

After equipment had been removed from the playground, adults started noticing the students engaging in “less desirable behavior” like “playing in mud” because there was less to do during recess.

Over at Clackamas River, parents and administrators also have been anxious to add new playground equipment, especially with the influx of students after the closing of River Mill Elementary.

“We just wanted to add more pieces since there’s so many kids out here,” said Clackamas River Elementary Principal Seth Johnson.

Jenny Durand, Clackamas River Elementary PTA treasurer, explained that most of the money for the school’s new playground equipment was raised by the River Mill Elementary PTA.

The Clackamas River Elementary PTA recently used the money it had raised at fundraisers over the years to purchase a climbing wall for the gym.

Aside from the merged Clackamas River and River Mill PTA’s fundraising efforts this year, most of the funds had been saved by the River Mill Elementary PTA.

Durand explained that the PTA had the money for new playground equipment last year but administrators kept hinting that they should wait before making a purchase.

Their logic made sense when River Mill Elementary closed.

The PTA has purchased a new active series fitness circuit for Clackamas River.

It includes a “wiggle walk” and “cyclone spinner” among other features.

The parents from both elementary schools have been in close contact with each other, they even decided to use the same manufacturer, PlayPros Inc.

Parents from both schools hope to have an “installation party” and barbecue the weekend of August 17.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help install the equipment should contact Krieter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Durand at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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