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Little Park Ribbon Cutting Shows Off Refurbished Playground
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Friday, May 17, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

The City of Ketchum cut the ribbon on a refurbished Little Park Friday afternoon, just as the thermometer topped 70 heralding the unofficial beginning of the summer season.

The refurbished park includes a two-kid swing that includes a sturdy handicapped seat with seatbelts, a tot-sized slide, a three-tier drinking fountain that includes a doggie drinking bowl, a picnic table, barbecue grill and a corner with sunshade.

“It’s a Little Park with a big heart,” said Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw. “Refurbished and upgraded.”

The park is located on Fifth Street between East Avenue and Walnut Street next to the Lewis Ore Wagon Museum and the Bonning Cabin, a one-room cabin built of hand-squared logs in 1882 for freighters who worked on the ore wagons.

Rixon + Cronin Real Estate made the remodel possible with what Bradshaw called an incredibly generous donation. The Hailey Kiwanis helped provide the ADA-accessible swing. Big Wood Landscape worked with the City of Ketchum on the project.

What is missing in the refurbished park is a tree sculpted by New York sculptor Jason Middlebrook called “Homage to the Limbert Pine,” modeled after an iconic tree that grows at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.

It was sculptor Jason Middlebrook who had suggested the scale of the park was perfect for the sculpture, which was life-like enough that it was often overlooked while standing at Craters of the Moon.

The tree was commissioned in 2016 by the then-Sun Valley Center for the Arts, along with “Spur,” the rib-like homage to the lava tubes of Craters of the Moon National Monument and to the railroad ties that brought early visitors to Sun Valley Resort.

Bradshaw said the tree is in storage and that the Ketchum Arts Commission is trying to identify a new location for it.

Brendan Coyle said he believes the park got a fair number of visitors before, despite being tucked away off main streets.

“I think when Bluebird Village is done, hopefully this fall, we’ll see even more,” he added. “It’s another spot in town to enjoy the outside, and I especially like the sunshade.”

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