The Portage Parks and Recreation department is getting ready for summer with a couple of improvement projects in the works, as well as the start of summer programming.
Toby Monogue, Portage Parks and Recreation Director, said the department is excited for summer as they continue to use caution during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the projects is installing a 75-foot zip line for kids to use to go from one end of Collipp-Worden Park to another.
“It will be a nice addition to the park for the kids and community,” Monogue said.
Monogue said it’s part of capital improvement projects.
Another addition to Collipp-Worden Park will be a new swing set bay with five to six swings on the opposite end of the park as the planned zip line. It will replace swings that were installed years ago and have been removed.
The projects at Collipp-Worden Park could be completed by the end of May.
There will also be new concrete laid down at the park to make the space ADA compliant. The concrete will connect the playground and the shelter for better access for everyone.
“We come here all the time,” Jason Meyer said. Meyer was practicing for a round of disc golf at Collip-Worden Park. “New swings and a zip line would be really nice.”
Monogue mentioned another project for this year that may not begin until late fall – a second ballfield south of Veterans Memorial Field near the Columbia County Fairgrounds.
“The bid has been awarded to Gerke Excavating,” Monogue said. “We don’t have a timetable in place yet. I’m hoping to have the field done by late fall. We may only have partial use for 2022.”
When the field can be used depends on a plethora of things, including how the grass comes in. Monogue said he’d like to have the field be usable next summer but it remains an unknown when it will be ready for full use.
Recreation is moving forward with summer programs, including the Playground Program that runs eight weeks over the summer from June 7 through July 30. The program is available to ages 6 through 14 and there are options to sign up for one week or all eight weeks.
The Playground Program has a little bit of everything, Monogue said. The supervised camp at Collipp-Worden Park includes arts & crafts, dodgeball, tennis and free play time.
“Another popular program is our swimming lessons. With COVID, like other things, we’ve had to adjust capacity in these programs to allow social distancing and other protocols,” Monogue said.
Other popular summer programs the department offers are a number of different tennis sessions for different age groups and skill level, dance programs and right now the spring flag football is in full swing.