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The Smoke Signal

A New Update to Ryan Park

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The oldest park in the Lompoc Valley, Ryon Park, has begun its new era with new playground equipment, fitness equipment, and completely replenished tennis courts located in the southern section of the parkark. With renovations already started, what can Lompoc expect from these new upgrades?

Ryon Park, donated in 1910 by Mary Ryon, is a 22.5-acre park that has served as a placeholder for many events. It is also a very sporty park. Soccer, softball, and football games are held almost weekly on the fields surrounding the tennis courts.

One of the biggest traditions of the Lompoc community is the Flower Festival, beginning in 1952, which is always held at Ryon Park’s northern and southern sections.

Lompoc is known for its colorful and abundant flowers grown every year during April, which is when the Flower Festival is usually held. The festival brings the whole town together to experience live music, vendors of both food and commercial, and the best part, the carnival.

With all of these events taking place at RyonPpark, the new playground and gym equipment will definitely become a hit within the Lompoc community.

One of the biggest problems the previous playground of Ryon Park had was the safety of younger children. The playground had not been changed for 15 years since the last playground installment according to Central California news KSBY. The park was hazardous to children under the age of 5 due to hot metal slides, ladders that were not safe without an adult supervision, rusting, and the most problematic, vulgar graffiti. The metal slide was eventually replaced by a plastic slide but was only accessible by a ladder to the second floor.

With the change of the new playground, the city is also adding another smaller play structure intended for 2-5- year- olds, and rubber mulch padding instead of wood chips. The additional play structure is a safer option for younger children because it is lower to the ground, and has access to a safer slide.  However, both playsets are not inclusively designed for wheelchair accessibility.

Designed by Game time, the playset’s theme is patriotic with the main piece being a rocket representing The United States.

Nearby, fitness equipment will also be added to the park. The fitness equipment is great for adolescents and seniors for exercise since the park is a great place to work out as well.

Ryon Park has six tennis courts, two of which were in unusable condition. Along with the new equipment, the city has begun the reconstruction of the tennis courts. The other four courts are having their court lights repaired, wind-blocking nets replaced to improve the courts, and new tennis nets. The two other courts being reconstructed are going to be turned into 8 Pickleball courts, which has been a hit for Lompoc’s seniors.

The whole Ryon Park project is estimated to cost $600,000.  With the help of GameTime, a commercial playground/outdoor fitness equipment installers, and manufacturers, $200,000 of the total will be covered, the other $400,000 being paid by the city’s general fund. The project is estimated to be completed by the end of October.

The new equipment being brought to Ryon Park will benefit Lompoc by becoming a safer place for future generations to have fun without worry, while also benefiting adolescents and seniors to become a better version of themselves with the new gym equipment. The new courts will encourage more people to become more active while still having fun and being social. Overall, this new version of Ryon Park is essential for the growth of Lompoc after the pandemic, since more people are spending their time outdoors. It has begun a new era for the Lompoc Valley and its people.

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About the Contributor
Kelli Fernandez, Author
Kelli Fernandez is a freshman at Lompoc High School. This is her first year in Journalism. At LHS she is part of the Tennis team. Outside of school she is interested in: music, movies, and baking. A fun fact about Kelli is that she had been home schooled for six years.  

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    Ed yorkOct 19, 2023 at 6:44 pm

    Is the pathway around the park being repaved? It has been full of holes broken up and dangerous to walk on.

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