#28 Sylvan Park – Three Sisters Drive

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Sylvan was our last stop on a three park tour today. We were surprised to find an off-street parking lot for this park, but with only a few non-handicap parking spots they were full. The Street parking is plentiful. We decided not to let our son out of the car because the park was packed and the play area was being used for soccer practice.

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The play area was very unimpressive in general. As we were driving through the affluent area, we were expecting to find a beautiful and well stocked park. Instead we found one small play structure with a metal slide (can we say ouch in the summer). There is one regular swing and one infant swing. There is not  a lot of seating around the play area.

The park does have a first-come first-serve tennis court, spacious grass area, and some natural landscaping. I do not remember if I saw bathrooms, water fountains, or a doggie station. I’m assuming there is a doggie station somewhere, because this park is on the other end of the walking trail that also starts/ends at Summit Park.

I’ll admit we did not give this park a lot of time, but I would skip it in general.


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 3
Condition: 4
Amenities: 3
Safety: 4
Fun: 3

Overall Score: 3.5

Summit Park may be adequate as a local park, but it is not worth the drive to find it. The play structure is lacking in imagination and general depth. The metal slide would make any helicopter parents worry on a hot day. Although there is a tennis court, which is not common for parks in the area, Slyvan park seems to be missing some of the most basic necessities like a bathroom and water fountain. Do not come here to picnic unless you want to sit on a blanket, there was very little seating. There is only one regular swing and one infant swing, which could cause issues on busy days. In general, skip this park.


 

#27 Quail Park – Regency St

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We hit Quail Park after we did the Skyline Sports Complex, mostly because we were so bored by the complex’s play structures. Our son got bored after 10 minutes, and we were kinda of tired of standing around. Quail Park is on Regency Street, and right off of Mount Washington Drive.

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Right away we were relieved to find a well stocked play area unofficially split into areas for younger and older children. There are two play structures, each geared to a different age range. There are two regular swings and two infant swings. The play area is close to the road with a fence, but it is also at the end of the street so no through traffic. There is more than enough seating near the play area as well. We saw a water fountain, bathroom and doggie station.

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Quail Park also has a neat little trail system around it’s edges that seem to connect to the connected communities. In the middle of the more natural area there is the pictured structure. I’m not sure if it was created by neighbor kids or what, but it is definitely interesting. This is NOT an off-leash dog area, but it would make a great on-leash quick dog walk. Although the path is not long enough to be a walking trail on it’s own, it would work in laps in a pinch.

The park also has a small picnic pavilion that fits two picnic tables underneath, for probably 16 peoples (tops!)


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 4
Condition: 5
Amenities: 5
Safety: 5
Fun: 5

Overall Score: 4.5

Quail Park gets almost perfect scores. The park could stand to be a little larger and have more individual seating. The picnic pavilion is small, and would be hard for two seperate families to share if needed. If you want to picnic I would plan to be in the sun, and possible bring a blanket on a busy day. The walking trail around the park would make for a quick on-leash dog walk or a walking trail if lapped multiple times. The play area is well maintained and fun.


 

#26 Skyline Sports Complex – Mountaineer Way

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When the Skyline Sports Complex was pulled out of the jar I got a feeling of nostalgia. I went to middle school at Cascade Junior High, which right next to the sports complex. We would spend PE periods in the park running around, playing softball. I also vaguely remember playing soccer on the fields in the 2nd grade. Skyline Sports Complex is located on Mountaineer Way, very close to the intersection of Mount Washington Drive and Century Drive.

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The Skyline Sports Complex is a mecca for Park and Rec leagues, with four lighted fields. The park is mainly set up for this purpose. There is almost a picnic shelter that holds approximately 32 people. There are a few porta-potties, and an actual bathroom facility on the grounds. There are also a few water fountains.

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The small play ground is located behinds the north ball field. It has four regular swings, two ride-ables, and a weird circular toy. Our four year old enjoyed the circular toy for a while. There are also large rocks next to the play area just begging to be climbed on. The park is situation on the opposite side of the complex away from the parking lot. In general, I would not make an exclusive trip just to play in this play area. It’s rather boring and unimaginative. I actually think the swings have been here since I went to middle school (let’s just say that was a couple decades ago.)

The complex is massive, with paved walking paths in between the sports fields. This would make a good place to walk/run, especially with the stroller. The view would perhaps become stale after awhile, but it would be a good option for someone close by.


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 5
Condition: 3
Amenities: 3
Safety: 4
Fun: 3

Overall Score: 4

The Skyline Sports Complex is primarily a park for organized sports. There are four sports fields, and is a mecca for many of the sports seasons. As a “play park” for a family afternoon of fun this park is severely lacking. There is no seating near the play area. The play area is missing a main structure and slide. There are four regular swings but not infant swings. There are two ride-ables and one circular spinning platform. The Complex is large enough to make a more than adequate walking/running track.


 

#25 Ponderosa Park – 15th Street

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Ponderosa Park was a staple in my youth, with it’s older swings and strange attached wilderness. I have to admit I had not been back to Ponderosa Park is almost a decade when we visited for the tour. I did not drive past it as much as you would expect for a busy street. The park was not I remembered it to be.

We parked in the parking lot close to the high school soccer/lacrosse field. I remembered the play ground being near 15th street. I was shocked, and somewhat sad, to see that there was no longer a play ground (or so I though, read on!). There is the baseball diamond, with the interesting “natural” seating. The Bend Park and Rec site says this park hosts adult softball and youth soccer games during the spring, summer, and fall. I can imagine it gets very busy during these seasons.

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Not being a skater myself, I didn’t realize the skate park was here before we pulled in. It seems to be far enough from where kids would play that it should pose a safety issues for parents of wandering kids. The baseball diamond area was well fenced, which made it great for grass and dirt exploring.

As I was walking around snapping pictures I say a glimmer of something green in the WAY back of the park. I left my husband and son to play while I investigated. This is when I learned of the off-leash dog park.

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The off-leash area is about three acres in size, and fenced off. It looked like an amazing, naturally landscaped, area with plenty of room for fetch and running.

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When I finally found the play area, I was very confused. It seems like it is still under construction, as much of this side of the park is. There was a very interesting looking slide surrounded by fence. I had left my son with my husband while I explored. The play area itself was typical, and looked like it might be fun. There was two regular swings, which were in use when I arrived.

This said of the park seems to be in the final stages of completions. This made me excited and nervous. There are multiple sports courts, a beautiful looking bathroom facility. The Picnic structure looks like it could hold 24-36.

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There is also a second skate park being built. It was more popular than the one on the “older” side of the park. This part of the park is definitely under construction with holes and construction equipment around. I would not suggest letting a little one wander. Not only are the skate boarders next the park spaces, and easily accessible to a runner, the holes and areas being worked on are not currently fenced off.

There is also an entirely different parking lot on the “new” side of the park, off of Wilson. I do not remember this parking lot being here. I honestly just remember there being a large piece of untouched landscape with a trail through it. I’m glad to see the city making use of the space. When completed, this park is going to be one of the crown jewels in the Bend Park and Rec’s crown. Until then, I would keep a watchful eye on the little ones when you go.


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 5
Condition: 3
Amenities: 5
Safety: 3
Fun: 5

Overall Score: 4

This park is currently under construction, creating some possibly minor safety concerns for parents of small children and those who may wander. Ponderosa Park is large, with activities for everyone including two skate parks and an off-leash dog area. This park is also on the Coyer Trail, possibly making it a good place to park and walk. I imagine this park’s rating may be all 5’s when completed.


 

#24 Stover Park – Watson Drive

20140702_130513Stover Park was the last of three parks we visited today, the other two being Boyd Park and Hollinshead Park. We actually stumbled upon this park last fall, and ended up taking some amazing pictures of our son. Stover is a smaller, neighborhood park with street parking.

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Stover Park has a generic play structure, 2 infant swings, 2 regular swings, and a few ride-ables. Our son generally enjoys the slides at Stover Park. However, we discovered on a hot day that the metal slides are more than uncomfortable. The play structure also sits pretty close to the street. There is limited parenting seating around the perimeter of the play area. I also found the picnic table, one of only a couple, to be a little warped and uncomfortable.

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What Stover Park has going for it, at least during this time of year, is how green it is. I almost felt like I was in the Willamette Valley with how green the trees were. The trees are also thick, leaving at last half of the play area shaded. It was an extremely hot day, so we definitely appreciated this.

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There is a hedge that separates the play area from the baseball diamond. You can get to the baseball diamond via street parking on one side, and more open paths on the others. But, to enter the diamond through the hedge, you have to find this one small opening. It’s hard to get a picture of how whimsical this is. It made me smile to walk through this opening.

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There are some grassy areas in Stover Park. We feel like there is not enough seating here. Certainly if your family wants to do a picnic day, I would have a back up plan if Stover Park is full. Also bring a blanket to sit on. Plan for this park to have plenty of traffic during baseball/softball season. The park has a porta-potty and a water fountain. In general, it is a great park for a regular non-busy day. During peak hours I would maybe find another park. Use caution on extremely hot days with the metal slide, which is such a shame because the park is so shaded!

A butterfly I chased around for almost 10 minutes just to try to get a good picture.

A butterfly I chased around for almost 10 minutes just to try to get a good picture.


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 5
Condition: 4
Amenities: 4.5
Safety: 3.5
Fun: 5

Overall Score: 4.5

Stover Park is a great community park for families in the area. The green colors are amazing, as is the butterflies. There is not a lot of seating. The metal slides get very hot during warm summer days. The park sits very close to the road, which would cause helicopter parents to worry. Some of the benches in the park are bowed, making this uncomfortable and seem not in good condition. There is also a dog on the other side of the one of the fences who’s loud bark and growl could scare little ones. Stover park has street only parking.


 

#23 Hollinshead Park – Jones Road

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Hollinshead Park was on our way to Stover Park from Boyd Park. I had expect to make it a quick stop, since there is no play structure here. I had not been to Hollinshead Park for years, so I was not expecting the amazing selection of activities. I was also thrilled the plentiful parking.

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Hollinshead Park is home to an amazing community vegetable garden. You see it right as you pull into the park. The Bend Park and Rec site explains more:

“Registration for a vegetable garden plot is done in-person at Hollinshead Park on April 26th. The line forms early and is outdoors so dress for the weather. Assignment of plots begins at 9:00 am on a first-come, first-served basis. A waiting list will be taken as well. Gardening classes will be offered throughout the season. For additional information, check the Central Oregon Master Gardener Association website at http://www.goCOMGA.com, OSU Extension Service-Deschutes County website at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/ or call 541-383-3905  or 541 977-7661.”

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The off-leash dog area is on the north side of the park. I saw many furbabies getting their tennis ball on while we dropped by. You also find a water fountain, with dog bowls, nearby. There is also a porta-potty.

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So much of this park is just open fields and orchards. It is absolutely gorgeous. I need to come back some day when I can just wander around.

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What Hollinshead Park is probably most well known for is Hollinshead Barn. This is a popular place for weddings and big events. There was an event going on so I did not want to get too close. There was also a couple kids on their iPods near this door, that I didn’t want to image. Getting some better images of the Hollineshead Barn will be on my list of things to do when I come back. You can also schedule a small group visit to the Homestead House museum. You can find more information about all of this on the Bend Park and Rec page for Hollinshead Park.

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This park’s score are going to suffer, unfortunately. This is when our park tour is like comparing apples to oranges. I do think our son would find this park somewhat boring. Without a play structure, there is just not much to do. I plan to do this park again soon, this time with a couple of friends and just walk around. Please don’t let the below scores deter you from giving Hollinshead Park a visit. The grounds are beautiful!


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 5
Condition: 5
Amenities: 3
Safety: 4
Fun: 3

Overall Score: 4

Hollinshead Park is a mecca for gardners and dog owners. Future Brides would kick themselves if they didn’t at least give Hollinshead Barn a look for a possible location. This park is missing a picnic structure and a playground. I did not see a lot of picnic tables. While the grounds are gorgeous you will need to plan accordingly if you want to use this park for a family outing. Because this park is mostly an off-leash dog park, keep that in mind if your children have issues with dogs as well


 

 

 

#22 Boyd Park – Comet Street

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We pulled Boyd Park out of the jar. It is located in a charming new development. The parking for Boyd Park is street park, which wasn’t much a problem for middle of the day on a Wednesday. When the developments around the park finish, I wonder if parking will become more difficult.

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The park is large and has two distinct play structures. One is for the younger kids and includes 2 infant swings. The other play structure is for older kids and has 2 regular swings. In between are varies structures that are unique. In general, my husband and I agree that this park is a perfect example of how a park should be laid out.

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My purse and pink water bottle in the background

We were extremely grateful for the picnic shelter at this park. The shelter is next to the play ground, and is shaded. It was over 80*, so we were happy for the shade. there does not seem to be much shade elsewhere in the park. The picnic shelter seems to have seating for 12. Both picnic tables seem to be missing benches. I went looking to the Bend Park and Rec page for Boyd Park for answers, but did not find any. I wonder if these benches are meant to have room for wheelchairs. If so, then it’s awesome. The picnic shelter is also near the porta-potty and the water fountain.

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The half court basketball court has a picnic table and regular bench near by. It is on the edge of the native landscape area.

20140702_122334There are two native landscaped areas in this park. Both have nearby doggie stations. This is NOT an off-leash dog area, but would make for a good place to take Fido for a quick walk. There is also paths that go through the park as well. I would not say anything is big enough for a nice walk, but they could turn into a loop in a pinch.

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There is plenty of large grassy area at Boyd Park as well. It is missing a decent amount of picnic tables. If you plan to picnic here with your family, especially during peak teams, plan on bringing a blanket.


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 5
Condition: 5
Amenities: 4.75
Safety: 4.5
Fun: 5

Overall Score: 4.75

For all tense and purposes, Boyd Park may deserve to be a 5 star park. There is something here for everyone. The park is in excellent condition. We always have concerns when there is only street parking in a park. I also worry about any park that encourages dogs with a separate fenced area. It was a very hot day, and it seemed the dark colored slides were a little too warm. I do wish the park had more picnic tables in general. Even though our hair splitting lowered it’s rating, Boyd Park is a must see for anyone in the area.