One of Redmond’s oldest parks could soon get a makeover courtesy of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Baker Park on 17th Street is one of three Oregon parks nominated for the Moda Assist program — a partnership between the Trail Blazers and Moda Inc., the insurance company that has the naming rights of the arena where the Trail Blazers play.
The program donates $10 to the Trail Blazers Foundation for every assist made by a Trail Blazers player during the first 46 games of the season. The funds then go to the community that receives the most public votes to help build all-abilities playground equipment and other park improvements.
Baker Park was one of the first neighborhood parks in Redmond when it was built in 1976.
While some may call the original play structure nostalgic, the park is in need of upgrades, said Annie McVay, Redmond parks and administration division manager.
“It is the vintage playground set. It’s time to update it,” she said. “You feel a sense of nostalgia, but it really needs to serve more groups of people.”
Updates to Baker Park were scheduled as the next project in the parks master plan, McVay said, but if Redmond is selected for the Moda Assist program, the city can use money intended for Baker Park for another project.
The city’s parks department submitted a proposal detailing what they would like to improve in the park, including an updated play area, a walking path around the park with adult exercise equipment along the way and improvements to the parking lot to make it more accessible, McVay said.
People are alloted one vote per day in online voting, and as of 6 p.m. Saturday, Baker Park was in the lead with 2,267 votes. Roger Jordan Park in Dallas was in a close second with 2043 and Davis Park in Gresham was in third place with 887 votes.
Voting is open until March 19 at trailblazers.com/assists.
“We are really hoping the momentum stays,” McVay said. “Dallas is close, so we need to keep our momentum. It’s really fun to have a promotion to get people engaged and excited about our parks district.”
The Moda Assist program was established in 2013 when Moda Inc. first partnered with the Portland Trail Blazers. Helping keep children active is one of the most important ways to be involved, said Karis Stoudamire-Phillips, corporate social responsibility manager at Moda Inc.
“Play is so important in a child’s life,” she said. “They learn so much on a playground or at a park, and that needs to be available for every child. Getting kids active and motivated to be active no matter what their abilities are is so important.”
Past recipients of the Moda Assist park funds include Birnie Park in La Grande, Culley Park in Portland, Fichtner Mainwaring Park in Medford and Sunset Park in Hermiston. The program has generated more than $73,000 in the five years since it was established.
“Anybody can win,” Stoudamire-Phillips said. “We want every city to know that it’s a fair chance for anyone to drum up support and to win. We are excited to come to whatever city wins and make their dream a reality.”
— Reporter: 541-617-7829, email@example.com