New playground geared towards older kids and adults opens in Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls

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City officials, Parks and Recreation, and the Civitan Club gather for the ribbon cutting of Community Park in Idaho Falls on Friday. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS — Idaho Falls’ newest playground isn’t for little kids. The just-opened section of Community Park features a large rope climber, new swings and a 75-foot zip line.

“This park is an (attempt to appeal to the older kids). Older kids tend to think parks are for little ones because you have a swing and a slide. This park does not have a slide. There are lots of parks around the city that have slides. We wanted something more unique, something you’re not going to be able to get at other parks,” says McKayla Matlack, Civitan Club of Idaho Falls president.

Matlack also says the rope climber is a new type of playground equipment. Only eight other parks in the world have one.

The playground’s purpose is to encourage older kids and even parents to get off their phones and play outside together, she says.

Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

The playground opening on Friday is the first phase of the project. The second phase will include slides and other equipment for younger children. The playground is part of additional improvements at Community Park, including recently completed trail renovations and improved landscaping.

During the ribbon cutting Friday, the Idaho Falls Civitan Club donated $25,000 to Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation to pay for the project. Donations from Civitan fundraisers like Alive After 5 funded the new playground. Alive After 5 happens every Wednesday between May and September inside Civitan Plaza in downtown Idaho Falls.

The teaming of these groups to build the new playground was part of the city’s “Partnering for Play” project. Community Park is the second playground constructed in partnership between the city and the Civitan organization. The first park was built in 2018 at Freeman Park.

“We have a lot of parks that are due for an upgrade. So we prioritize those. Through our partnership with the Civitans, we’re able to buy equipment that maximizes the value of those parks we’re upgrading,” says Mayor Rebecca Casper.

RELATED | Playground build underway at Community Park in Idaho Falls

Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

In addition to the financial contribution, the Civitan Club also donated volunteer hours from their members to help build the playground, along with the mayor, members of the City Council and other volunteers. The playground equipment was installed May 11 during a community build event. The company that plans and builds these playgrounds came to that event.

“We’re just happy to be part of this community, in partnership with the city. We’re happy to have our name on something that’s really going to last a long time,” Matlack says.

Community Park is at 455 East 25th Street.

Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com
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