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Klamath Falls, Ore. – Plans for a ‘Super Playground’ designed by kids, for kids was unveiled Tuesday night in Klamath Falls.

Project designer Jim Houghton of Leathers and Associates was animated as he described the features of the proposed park – and the kids were delighted.

“The last couple days, we’ve been talking to the kids about their ideas for the playground.”  Houghton explains.  “And this afternoon, I sat down, and tried to put that all together into a design.”

That design was cobbled from nearly 300 drawings submitted by students.

“I was told that I needed to put in a 500 foot slide.”  Notes Houghton.  “I might have had to short that just a little bit, but we put in the tallest slide we could.”

The final draft design also features ziplines, old favorites like monkey bars, and even a ‘Crater Lake’.

The concept was initially proposed by Klamath Falls Public Works Director Mark Willrett.

Kendra Santiago works with the Blue Zones Project in Klamath Falls.  “The city approached Blue Zones Project to say, ‘Can you be the catalyst that moves this project forward?”

The project would replace the existing play structure at Moore Park.

Houghton notes that accessibility will be a key factor.  “For children of all abilities – a chance for shoulder to shoulder play.”

“Moving is wonderful.”  Adds Santiago.  “But we also love building social connections, and the idea that a playground can be a place for families to come together.”

Playground costs are estimated at over $700,000.

“The neat thing about this project is it is not only designed from the ideas of our children, but we will also fund raise as a community for it.”  Santiago notes.  “And then come together as volunteers and build the playground together.”

The project would be build in large part of ‘wood’ made from recycled plastics.

Organizers are hoping for construction in the Spring of 2021.

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.

He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.

“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.

When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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