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Woodhaven Park hosts grand reopening, unveiling a new slide, rock wall and restrooms

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The revamped park also includes added basketball courts and an expanded Tonka Truck sandbox.

GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - Henry Brewer, 2, tries out a Tonka truck in the revamped and expanded sandbox at Woodhaven Park during a grand reopening ceremony held May 6.
A grand reopening ceremony at Woodhaven Park -- complete with its renowned sandbox filled with Tonka trucks – was held under sunny skies and a light breeze on May 6.

Before officially cutting a ribbon, Mayor Krisanna Clark said that making improvements to the park has been on the top of her list and that of other Sherwood City Council members for years for a facility that many residents refer to simply as Tonka Truck Park.

GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - Sherwood Mayor Krisanna Clark, center, cuts a ribbon, accompanied by members of the Sherwood City Council, during a grand reopening of Woodhaven Park on May 6.
The nickname is the result of a now large sandbox that is filled with numerous Tonka trucks that people have simply left over the years, according to Kristen Switzer, Sherwood's community services director.

"I think one of the things that's really cool, it looks like it's always been this way," she said.

Darren Caniparoli, operations supervisor for Sherwood Public Works, who also was project manager for the park, said he was pleased with the completed efforts as well.GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - Isla Morad, 4, right, and her sister, Ivy, 2, dig into cupcakes as their mother Laura looks on, during a celebration of the reopening of Woodhaven Park on May 6.

"I think it turned out well," he said.

The dedication was originally planned for April 8 but was postponed because of a major windstorm that bought down numerous trees and caused other damage the day before.

Jennifer Kuiper, a member of the Sherwood City Council, said she was happy to see the park improvements come to fruition, noting that have been on the city's radar since she was a member of the Sherwood Parks Board beginning eight years ago.GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - Charlyn Peters, 4, tries out the new slide at Woodhaven Park May 6 just before the park celebrated its grand reopening.

Among the added features at Woodhaven Park are new bathrooms, a slide with accompanying rock wall, a bark dust trail along the back border of the park, so-called "raccoon logs" (composite structures kids can play in or on) and nine off-street parking spaces (along with a handicapped space as well).

And of course, the sandbox area, which now has almost double its former space. The expanded area not only contains the older Tonka trucks but also two large stationary hand-controlled "diggers" that contain large scoops. (By the way, the Tonka trucks were safely stored at the Public Works Department for safekeeping during the park improvements, allaying fears by some residents that the vehicles might not return).GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ  - Mayor Krisanna Clark talks about what efforts it took to bring the remodeled Woodhaven Park to fruition during a grand reopening on May 6.

"We love it," Sherwood resident Lyndsey Brewer said of the remodeled park. "We've been coming here for, like six years."

Among her favorite new features are the bathrooms and the expanded sandbox, she said.

The architect for the project was HHPR (Harper Houf Peterson Righellis Inc.) and the contractor was Paul Brothers, Inc.

GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - Cha Cha the Clown ties balloons for Janessa Morris, right, and Grace Steffens during grand reopening ceremonies at Woodhaven Park on May 6.