More changes coming to Randall Park; Yakima waiting on state grant —

More changes coming to Randall Park; Yakima waiting on state grant

By Samina Engel

YAKIMA, Wash. -- You may have seen the signs at Yakima's Randall Park: "Renovations in Progress." Some changes have already been made; more are in store. KIMA found out what's in the works from Yakima's Parks and Recreation Manager.

Yakima's Randall Park is a work in progress.

"From the moment I started here as Parks and Recreation manager, it's been on my list of things to improve," said Ken Wilkinson.

And with the community's help, the city's making strides. A new viewing wildlife deck opened in April, thanks to a donation from Yakima Southwest Rotary.

"I think it's great," said park visitor Carol Haley.

Yakima's planted new grass along the pond, and new trees and shrubs at Wide Hollow Creek and 48th Avenue. And, opened Randall Park Dog Park in December.

But, there's more work to be done and the community's coming together to help finish it.

The Yakima Downtown Lions Club is donating $25,000 to re-build the bridge that crossed the duck pond. Downtown Yakima Rotary will replace the playground with a brand new one this summer. Yakima Sunrise Rotary is looking to build at least one more picnic shelter. And, Southwest Rotary could re-build the basketball court next year.

"It's humbling and really great that our Rotary Clubs, our Lions Clubs, our Kiwanis Clubs give so much to this community and care so much about their parks," said Wilkinson.

A $500,000 state grant is currently up in the air -- tied up in the state's budget process. That money's needed to fix up the bathroom.

"It's in terrible shape and we are not even opening it this year," said Wilkinson.

It's also needed to re-build the park's worn-out pathway.

"It's pretty rough," said Jonathan Hieberg, who walks the park at least three times a week. "It's not bad for younger folks, but I worry about kids and older folks."

The state grant would also help fix up the parking lots and pay for more fencing, plus new signs and spruced up entrances.

Wilkinson says the city could get final word on the grant this month.

Anonymous donors gave Yakima $150,000 last year to help get the Randall Park improvements going.

Read the complete story at KIMA TV
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