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REEDSPORT —A youth group from Salem is joining with the City of Reedsport to renovate Roy Henderson Park and give it new life as a place the community can enjoy.

West Pres Youth, a youth mission group from the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Salem, is spearheading the project. They are currently raising money to match funds with a $15,000 grant and are asking for the community's help. They need to raise $10,000 to reach the minimum goal for everything they need.

According to a GoFundMe page set up for the project, the plan is to install new, safer and ADA compliant, play structures, new swing sets and put down wood chips or rubber mats to cushion falls. In the background of the GoFundMe, it's noted that the current equipment is rusted and covered in grafitti and that many pieces are worn to the point they could pose safety risks. There also is no ground covering, meaning any falls are potentially landing on hard dirt or concrete corners.

"The park playground is on the verge of being closed off as a public safety hazard," states the GoFundMe. "(It is) a generally uninviting atmosphere for children to play."

Jonathan Wright, city manager for Reedsport, said they are very excited for the youth group to renovate another park in the city. He said the city is looking forward to collaborating with them on the project -- this is the fourth renovation project West Pres has done in Reedsport over about six years. Wright recalled they were planting trees near Henderson Park last year and first raised the idea of renovating it then.

West Pres also renovated Lions Park and made the disc golf course. The youth group started by working with Christmas in July's summer project about six years ago, their leader having grown up in Reedsport. After the Christmas in July projects, they started moving into doing their own projects to benefit the Reedsport community.

"You can trust us," states the GoFundMe. "We know what we're doing. We have a track record. And we want to bring you this park in late spring/summer 2020."

The project's GoFundMe campaign can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/rebuild-henderson-park. However, it will be unavailable for a few weeks. Instead, they ask people to visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/THparkreedsport.

Checks can also be submitted payable to the City of Reedsport and addressing them Attn: Jonathan Wright, City Manager, 451 Winchester Ave. Reedsport, OR 97467 with "Henderson Park" written in the memo field.

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Reporter Adam Robertson can be reached at 541-297-3590, or by email at adam.robertson@theworldlink.com.

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