Fence Pickets

Engraved fence pickets salvaged from the former Funland Playground after it burned down sit ready for pick up in the Hermiston Community Center.

HERMISTON — Engraved wooden fence pickets sitting at the Hermiston Community Center this weekend tell a story of the people who came together to rebuild Funland playground in 2001 after it burned down.

After a second fire this spring burned down the 2001 playground, the city salvaged everything they could that had a name on it. The fence pickets local residents sponsored are now catalogued, alphabetized and available for pick-up this weekend at the community center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 20-22. 

Charlie Clupny was there Friday morning shortly after the pick-up process started, and he could tell stories about most of the names on the wooden slats.

"There's so much history here," he said.

Clupny is one of eight committee members who are working on the design and fundraising for a new Funland playground at Butte Park, which they hope will be completed by next summer.

The new park will be larger and made of a more fireproof, long-lasting, recycled, compressed plastic to discourage future arson. The fence pickets for the new park will be made of the same material, a sample of which is on display at the community center.

Families and individuals can sponsor a slat, engraved with their choice of names or message, for $100. Businesses can sponsor one for $250. Other larger sponsorships, such as benches, will also be available as the Funland committee works to raise money for the new playground. For more information, see bit.ly/funlandpicket.

You can call the Hermiston parks and recreation department at 541-667-5018 if you aren't available to pick up your picket this weekend but would like to make arrangements to get it back at a later date.

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