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Grand opening of Lucas Park play area delayed

An Oct. 3 event celebrating the grand opening of long-awaited Lucas Park on South Shasta Avenue in Eagle Point will be put off until spring because of unexpected delays.

The $625,000 project, spearheaded by the Eagle Point Parks Foundation, will include a series of walking paths, a grassy hillside and a large collection of play structures. Some of the features will be available for use before the official grand opening. 

Most of the project has been funded by city parks system development charges in addition to $66,000 from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for the play structures.

City Administrator Henry Lawrence said the 10-acre Lucas Park, made up of three once-vacant, weed-covered lots, is "substantially completed" already.

"We're just waiting for the weather to cool so we can finish growing the lawn," said Lawrence.

"We had a children's playground set that was just delivered, so crews are going to be putting that together. This spring we'll build some restrooms. It's mostly completed, just not ready for prime time yet."

The park is named after the Eagle Point family who once owned the initial nine acres of parkland given to the city in 2002, Lawrence said. The final acre was acquired in 2013, ensuring access off of South Shasta instead of the nearby Glenwood subdivision.

The spring ribbon-cutting will also serve as a parks fundraiser to help add restrooms to Lucas Park, a gazebo at Mattie Brown Park, a water spray park and new basketball courts elsewhere, and scholarships for recreation programs.

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Email her at buffyp76@yahoo.com.