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“Enchanted Turtle Habitat” Playscape installed at Cantrall Buckley Park playground

– Ribbon cutting on Saturday, September 19 at 4 p.m. –

 

APPLEGATE, OR – A creative new playscape is being added to the playground at Cantrall Buckley Park in the Applegate Valley. The new Enchanted Turtle Habitat playscape will be officially opened to the public at a ribbon-cutting ceremony this Saturday, September 19 at 4 p.m. in the park. The playscape is centered around a concrete and tile turtle created by local artist Jeremy Criswell, who was hired to design and build the structure. The “habitat” also includes boulders and logs, and the whole playscape is designed for children to climb and play on.

 

The new area will also include a new bench, and a sign with educational information about the western pond turtle, which is native to the Applegate Watershed.

 

The playscape came about as a community service project by volunteers from the Applegate/Jacksonville cohort of the Ford Institute Leadership Program. The volunteers received leadership training over the past year, which was funded by the Ford Family Foundation, and delivered by staff from Rural Development Initiatives. Throughout the year-long program, the volunteers had training in leadership development, which culminated in the selection of a community improvement project. The volunteers designed the playscape and raised funds for the project, and the final product is being installed this week. The cohort members worked closely with the nonprofit Greater Applegate Community Development Corporation (GACDC) and the Cantrall Buckley Park Committee, to implement the project.

 

The Ford Foundation provided a $5000 grant for the playscape project. Additional funding for the Enchanted Turtle Habitat playscape was provided by local businesses and individuals.

 

The public is welcome at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, September 19 at 4 p.m.

 

About Jeremy Criswell

Jeremy Criswell is a sculptor and ceramic artist who has created mosaics for parks, playgrounds and other public spaces. Criswell says, “It is always a great honor to install a work of art, knowing that, in time, it will become part of the lives of the people who interact with the work. In the case of this turtle, I am hoping it brings joy to the children who play on and around it and to the parents who are watching their child’s exploration.”

 

Criswell’s work can be seen outside the Anne Basker Auditorium in Grants Pass, in the Scheffel-Thurston City Park in Jacksonville, at the Jackson County Expo in Central Point, at Oregon Hills Park in Medford, and in private collections. The turtle created for this project is made from steel reinforced concrete, hand made ceramic tiles, mosaics, rocks, and found objects.

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