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Dec. 5, 2021

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Washougal makes improvements to Hamllik Park; Lower Hathaway is next

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Don Wingate of the city of Washougal repairs an aging play structure at Hamllik Park in Washougal on Friday morning. Washougal city workers are wrapping up work on upgrades to the park, which will include replacing the play structure.
Don Wingate of the city of Washougal repairs an aging play structure at Hamllik Park in Washougal on Friday morning. Washougal city workers are wrapping up work on upgrades to the park, which will include replacing the play structure. (Photos by Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

WASHOUGAL — Washougal residents may soon notice a few park upgrades around their city.

The city is finishing up a series of upgrades at Hamllik Park and is now setting its sights on upgrading the more than 20-year-old playground equipment at Lower Hathaway Park.

Work at Hamllik Park shifted into high gear this month, as crews removed two unused, deteriorating sheds, installed new benches and tables, and repainted restrooms. Now, the city is working to repair a bicycle track and replace leaky roofs on the dugouts at the baseball field.

The city also has ordered a new playground for Hamllik, which should arrive by mid-November, according to Michelle Wright, the city’s public works business administrator.

“I think the playground was 23 years old, so it was definitely time for some upgrades there,” Wright said. “This is a really special park. It’s got amazing parking and allows neighbors to play and recreate and have barbecues.”

The city used $100,000 from a federal Community Development Block Grant and chipped in about $42,000 in matching funds to pay for the project.

Wright expects the Hamllik Park improvements to wrap up by the end of the year, but a few pieces of the upgrade will depend on what’s happening weather-wise in late November.

“I would love to put the playground in as soon as we receive it, but it’s very weather-dependent, and I don’t want to pull out the old playground until we’re sure we can install the new one,” Wright said. “The really cool thing about the playground is we were able to do a couple events out at Hamllik, and the playground we ordered was the one that was rated the highest by the neighborhood survey. It will be exciting to see that come in.”

City leaders still hope they can add a half-court basketball playing surface to the park, but they might have to get creative when it comes to financing that part of the improvement project.

“We’re going to do our best. With construction costs going up and everything happening, we’re going to try to get as much as we can done, and we might look at seeing if we can either do something different with the grant, where there might be some additional surplus that we could use on that project or apply for another grant to see if we can get some help with the basketball court.”

Hathaway Park playground

The city has applied for another grant — this one from the Parks Foundation of Clark County — to replace aging playground equipment at Lower Hathaway Park.

According to the county’s Parks Foundation, the playground equipment at Hathaway Park was installed more than two decades ago and should be replaced.

Hathaway Park “came up on top of the list as far as some things that we’re going to start updating and replacing when we were doing our parks master planning process,” Wright said, adding that Hathaway will likely be the next Washougal park to get a playground upgrade.

“(Lower Hathaway Park) has some of the older (playgrounds) in our system now that Hamllik is being replaced,” Wright explained, adding that city staff has struggled to source replacement parts for playground equipment as old as the 20-year-old play structures at Hathaway.

The city is seeking $16,150 for the Lower Hathaway Park playground update project, and is accepting donations through the Parks Foundation website at parksforclark.org/lower-hathaway-park.

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