Elizabeth Price Park - Tigard, OR
The playground we most recently visited was Elizabeth Price Park. It is a small playground located just off Bull Mountain Road, which we travel daily from our new neighborhood. Every time we pass the park the boys ask to check it out. It was their inquiries that made me think we should begin adventuring around Portland to discover new and different playgrounds.
After picking Breckin up from school we went across the street to the park. However, we found that you can’t just drive directly across and park alongside the road. Being new to the area, I had hoped that my intuition lead us to an easy parking space and entrance, so the boys could get some energy out. I was mistaken. Before I knew it, my shortcut had resulted in driving through winding streets as we attempted to make our way to the park. At this point we could have parked at the school and walked across the street faster and with more success that we were having. Our convoluted drive had placed us at the bottom of the hill, we started over. Driving back up Bull Mountain, we pulled onto Evergreen and found a parking spot. From there we had to walk a considerable distance. The boys were anxious to get to the park and I made the long walk into a race or rather a game of tag. The playground was small; a couple of swings and a seesaw, perfect for a neighborhood park. After a game of tag, I realized I am in need of a workout and must do so on a more consistent basis. Trying to make every adventure educational, we headed over to the green space. We discussed the meaning of a green space: an area of grass or trees set apart for either play or aesthetic reasons in an urban setting.
We entered an area of the park called the Labyrinth. Sawyer was most interested in the Minotaur, a creature that is half-man and half-bull that was on the sign as well. I explained that a Labyrinth was just another name for maze. Signs around the park informed us that in Ancient Greece there is a story told that a Minotaur was locked up in a maze under a castle. Looking down we noted a number of different animal tracks which were inter-webbed and allowed the kids to track through the maze. This area of animal tracks was created as the Minotaur’s labyrinth. Sawyer took a liking to the maze and the Minotaur, using the animal tracks to attempt to find his way through. After the maze we noticed a sign and learned that we were standing on top of a storage tank that holds over 3 million gallons of water. Sawyer started stomping the ground and asking why it was so hard. He thought that because we were on top of water it should be squishy! This led into a discussion on conservation of water such as turning off the sink water while brushing teeth. The water tank provides water to the local community and discussed water conservation.
A great fact we learned while here was how Bull Mountain got its name. Over 150 years ago legend states that a whole herd of wild cattle escaped while in route to market. They were able to wrangle all the cattle except the one lone bull who subsequently spent years grazing all over Bull Mountain.
While the park had a lot of education value for the kids, overall, we found it more suitable for younger children. The park was small, it is rarely frequented by other kids and parking was difficult.
UPDATE: Since this post I have seen cars parked on Bull Mountain Rd right by the playground where it says no parking.