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Fairground Park offers new exercise, play choices

The Oregon Park District’s oldest playground has received a major redesign which recreation officials hope will entice more residents of all ages to get out and exercise.

The park district was one of 18 Illinois park districts chosen by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association and GameTime to receive a playground grant of $48,000 and serve as a National Demonstration site.

The grant was used toward the $239,000 redesign of Fairground Park, a 10-acre park located in the north end of town. Costs for the project were budgeted under the district’s capital replacement fund.

“The whole purpose is trying to increase the amount of physical activity for park district residents,” said Oregon Park District Executive Director Erin Folk earlier this year. “Over 53 percent of district residents reside within a mile of Fairground Park, and the park is easily accessible by bike or on foot. Creating a space to include play and fitness features allow families a place to participate in play and physical fitness, resulting in healthier families.”

The IPRA teamed up with GameTime (a manufacturer of outdoor fitness equipment) to promote a statewide funding opportunity to promote healthy play and encourage best practice designs for active behavior.

The playground at Fairground Park was installed in 1995. The park itself is located on a portion of what used to be the Ogle County Fairgrounds before it moved west of town.

The park district, which has 6,800 residents in its taxing base, currently has eight playgrounds.

“All of our playgrounds need to be updated. We are trying to tackle at least one per year,” Folk said.

For more information about the Oregon Park District visit www.oregonpark.org or call 815-732-3101.

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