McClure Park Slide Opens June 25, 2018
Astoria, OR – June 21, 2018 – The public is invited to celebrate the opening and dedication of the 45 foot McClure Park Slide located at 701 Franklin Avenue at 6:30pm on Monday, June 25. The evening will include a short program with community speakers, music, food, and children’s activities.
Located along the steep 8th Street hill, the slide fulfills residents’ longtime goal of creating a place for children to play and neighbors to gather. The park, named for Colonel John McClure, one of the early land grant owners in Astoria in the 1840’s, has been of particular interest for local residents with local neighbors having formed a Friends of McClure Park (FOMP) group to install upgraded playground equipment and improve the park for the community.
“The hillside slide has been part of an ongoing community project for the past five years,” said City of Astoria Parks and Recreation Director Angela Cosby. “It all started with a small group of committed neighbors with a vision of providing neighborhood children with a creative place to play, and now we’re opening an amazing slide that represents the wishes and spirit of the community.”
The Friends of McClure Park organization formed in 2013, fundraising from neighbors to make park improvements and upgrade play equipment for a year and a half. The slide project was very dependent on the Astoria City Council, community members volunteering with the FOMP, Parks and Recreation staff, and local contractor, Robert Rush of North Pacific Excavation.
“We are so excited to welcome McClure area and local residents to their new slide,” said David McElroy, head of the Friends of McClure Park organization. “The opening of our new hillside slide provides families with a fun addition to our local park and is a direct result of efforts to engage and empower the community. Residents have enthusiastically embraced the design process and volunteer efforts that make this park truly their project.”
The .92 acre park includes a backstop, open grass area, swing set, seating, and picnic tables overlooking downtown Astoria and the Columbia River. It has also been the sight for the opening scene in “Ring 2” in 2002, and was a staging area for actors’ trailers and movie equipment for “Kindergarten Cop” in 1990. Since the formation of the group, McClure Park has hosted many community events including: Parks After Dark movies during the summer, Dog day events, and Fourth of July Celebrations.
The June 25 dedication begins with welcoming remarks at 6:30 p.m. Speakers include Astoria City Councilors, members of the Astoria Parks, Recreation and Community Foundation, members of the Friends of McClure Park, and City Staff.
“After five years of advocacy for the slide at McClure Park, it has become a reality,” said Allie Evans, a resident and Chairperson of the FOMP. “This is a new beginning for the neighborhood and we are very appreciative to all the people who had a role in making this possible.”