Corvallis Parenting: Outdoor Storytime, Summer Camp Opportunity, Fun With Water, Parks & Rec Doing Good, & Coloring

Remember parents, August is the last month where storytime for kids 0-to-5 will be held outdoors for the Corvallis-Benton County Library. Held on Tuesdays at Central Park from 10:30-11:00 a.m. – weather permitting – this is a great opportunity to meet other new parents and begin your child’s first friendships under the clear blue skies of the Willamette Valley.  

Late Summer Camp Opportunity: If you thought it was too late to register your kiddos for any summer camps, the Corvallis Environmental Center (CEC) has an option for you.   

Nature Camp: Animal Morphs allows kids ages 5 to 11 to “get up close and personal” with the animals that live at the Avery House Nature Center. Through these interactions, kids will have the opportunities to practice safe animal handling, compare and contrast different animal groups, learn about the relationships between predator and prey, investigate the anatomy and adaptations of vertebrate species, and more.  

Camp activities will take place from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. the week of Aug. 15 – 19. Registration will close on Aug. 8 at 11:00 p.m., so don’t delay!  

To register and learn more about the camp, click here.  

Fun with Water: On Aug. 5, the Boys & Girls Club will be getting wild.   

Director Helen Higgins has asked the Corvallis Fire Department for a hand in keeping the kids cool by spraying them with the fire hoses. The Boys & Girls Club will take the kids over to the field between the Club and the fire station on Circle – barring any emergencies taking the firefighters away, of course.   

And no worries, unlike how they’re used for house fires, this spray will simply bring a refreshing rain down on the heads of the kids.  

What’s Up With Parks & Rec: Did you know that Porter Park, located at 1895 NW Hayes, will be getting a new playground this fall? The existing playground equipment has been deemed in poor condition and will be replaced. We’ll keep an eye on things and let you know when the new equipment is ready for kids to test it out.  

Also, this fall there will be an addition to Eric Scott McKinley Skate Park, located at 1st St. and B Ave. The plans are to add a more difficult skating section for advanced skateboarders.  

According to Jackie Rochefort of Parks & Rec., “It’ll be a more advanced skate feature so the younger kids can have better access to the easier areas, and then more advanced riders will have a place that will be a little more separate.”   

And for the family that loves racket-based games, there are new tennis and pickleball courts at Riverbend Park, located at 750 SE Rivergreen Ave., and at Cloverland Park, located at 1605 NW 29th St. Tennis can be a lifelong sport that you and your kids will enjoy for years, plus getting out there and having a go at it might inspire your child to be the next Andre Agassi or Venus Williams.  

MLK Park: Back in 2018, Corvallis Parks & Rec. made some changes to MLK Park, located at 4905 NW Walnut Blvd. They improved the playground, added a restroom, created a “parent’s patio” to the barn, and added a water feature. They’re now looking to make more improvements, including historically appropriate art that can truly embody the spirit of Dr. King.   

“We want to honor his legacy and his mission,” said Rochefort. “We want to bring color into the park.”  

The folks at the city are working with the Linn Benton NAACP and a community-created ambassador group to make sure that the images, quotes, and art are all representative of the man we named the park for. On the planning table right now are an entrance plaza, an extra restroom, a large common area for meeting up, a natural playground, an interactive water feature, a fenced dog park, and a sports court area which will include at least a half-court basketball zone.  

“Throughout the park, we also want to share that message of peace and hope [King exemplified],” said Rochefort. “And we want to do it on a level that’s understandable for families.”  

The goal is to have the first shovel in the ground by next summer, and that will begin with a kickoff event on Aug. 28 to start fundraising.   

Coloring Oregon: Imagine the Oregon coast colored in beautiful oranges and purples with the yellow waves meeting the lime green clouds. You can see it for yourself if that’s how your child decides to color it, and you can find out how they color for free.   

The State of Oregon Parks and Recreation has an online coloring book titled “Celebrating Oregon’s Iconic Coastline” which you can print at home. These remarkable images of crabs, bicycles, seals, and horses are all composed in wonderful patterns that allow your children to see the world in a mirage of color.  

The best part is that you can sit down beside them and enjoy a nice coloring session as well, because these pages will appeal to all ages. And once you’ve finished those pictures, you can find more right here.  

By Sally K Lehman 

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