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Spokane Valley

Posts tagged: Discovery Playground

Saturday’s highlights

Farmer Robin Jons hands customer Dawson Smith, 5, a pumpkin he just bought Wednesday, at AC Starr Farms. The Otis Orchards farm will present its annual Pumpkins for Pets Fall Festival, a fundraiser for Partners for Pets in Spokane Valley and River City Pet Rescue in Post Falls. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Ah, Monday. How we've missed you. Of course, Monday means it's time to take a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. There is some new landscaping going in near Discovery Playground and Centerplace. The spot will also include two small picnic shelters that can be reserved for birthday parties or just family picnic.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote a story about the Pumpkins for Pets festival at AC Starr Farms. The annual event, which benefits two local pet rescue organizations, includes hayrides, a corn maze, face painting and more. Pets are invited to attend as well.

Lisa also has a story on mock elections at West Valley. All the high school students are learning about the candidates for local, state and federal candidates before they hold a mock election at the end of the month. They've been asking pointed questions of candidates who have come to speak to them.

The Liberty Lake Police Department is joining a new domestic violence program being spearheaded by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. The new Lethality Assessment Program is designed to get domestic violence victims the help they need immediately instead of officers just handing out a brochure with phone numbers. The new program will be used in Spokane Valley as well.

Saturday’s highlights

The yellow mate to this green fiberglass inchworm was stolen from Discovery Playground. The inchworms had been installed this spring in the Secret Garden area of the playground. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Those promised thuderstorms never materialized Saturday, so here's your chance to catch up on some of the stories from Saturday's Valley Voice if you were out and about. Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation Department employees are frustrated with the fascination that vandals seem to have with the larger-than-life features in the new Discovery Playground. Last week someone made of with a 5 foot long yellow inchworm, so keep your eyes open for it.

The Newman Lake SCOPE volunteers keep busy protecting their neighborhood from crime, but they can always use a few more helping hands. As reporter Lisa Leinberger writes, they have a lot of different programs running that people can help with.

The Spokane Valley City Council took another step closer to putting the one-way Sprague issue on the November ballot, agreeing to spend between $40,000 and $60,000 on a detailed traffic study. The city has already spent about $40,000 on a preliminary traffic study. The issue must be decided by Aug. 16, which is the deadline to add items to the ballot.  

Coming on Saturday

I hear we are expecting thunderstorms tomorrow, so it sounds like a good day to stay inside and read the Saturday Valley Voice. I blogged about the inchworm stolen from Discovery Park the other day and in the Voice I'll have a story with more details, including what the Parks Department plans to do to stem the rash of vandalism and thefts.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked in with the Newman Lake SCOPE group, who are looking for more volunteers to swell their ranks. Since I was out and about last week on the day I usually get the weekly call details from the Spokane Valley Fire Department I have two weeks of information for you tomorrow. There were a lot of fires, including two mobile homes destroyed and numerous illegal fires.

You'll also get a second report from this week's Spokane Valley City Council meeting. They had a lengthy discussion on putting the one-way Sprague issue on the November ballot. Nothing has been finalized yet, but they took a couple steps forward.

Missing: one inchworm

Photo courtesy of the City of Spokane Valley.

The Discovery Playground in Spokane Valley appears to be as popular with vandals as it is with children. Parks and Recreation staff noticed yesterday that one of two larger-than-life inchworms in the Secret Garden area of the playground had been stolen (the yellow one) and the other damaged. The city is sounding the alarm and is asking that anyone with information on the whereabouts of the inchworm call Crime Check at 456-2233.

Last year a giant rainbow trout was wrenched out of the concrete, but not stolen. It hasn't yet been put back as staff search for a permanent way to install it so it can't be removed again. Also last year three giant fiberglass Eagle eggs were torn out of the ground and stolen. Residents reported seeing them alongside the road and they were recovered, but they haven't been reinstalled yet either. And only a few weeks ago a park ambassador reporting seeing a 20-something male trying to break a piece off the bronze mountain man sculpture just outside the playground.

If you are ever driving by and see something suspicious or see someone in the park after dark, you're encouraged to call police.

Today’s highlights

Kathi White of Post Falls prepares for a ride with the help of volunteer Bukre Horner at Equine TLC in Post Falls last week. Equine TLC offers therapy to people with disabilities. SR photo/Kathy Plonka

I could say there is so much in the Valley Voice today that it took me this long to read it, but the reality is that I've been busy writing stories and posting other news and my usual Valley Voice highlights post got pushed from early morning to early afternoon. So, without further ado, here we go.

The Discovery Playground is open for the season. The new playground was very popular last year and some features were literally loved to death. So there are a few new things to see and, in a few weeks, new security cameras with motion detectors. Last year someone stole several large fiberglass eggs that were later found and tried to make off with a large Salmon.

Reporter Lisa Lienberger has great story on Equine TLC, a non-profit that gives disabled children and adults therapy on horseback. The group is having a fundraiser next week to raise money for an indoor arena.

This week the Spokane Valley City Council took the next to last step to eliminate the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. I also checked in with the Happy Quilters, a group of women at Christ Lutheran Church who make quilts non-stop to send to Lutheran World Relief, which distributes them around the world. And that's just the beginning of their work for charity.

Things to do, places to be

There are so many things going on today and Saturday that I thought I would post a few highlights. They are fairly far flung - in Spokane Valley, Otis Orchards and Rockford. So no matter where you are, you've got someplace to be.

The fun kicks off today with the season opening of Discovery Playground at 2426 N. Discovery Place from 3 to 5 p.m. The new playground was hugely popular last year and a few changes were made over the winter to make things more durable. This afternoon's celebration includes family activities and a tree planting ceremony with the Mayor. The weather could be better, but we have to take what we can get.

On Saturday people will have to choose between competing events in Otis Ochards and Rockford. A Ronda Jo Emerson Memorial fundraiser is planned for 1 p.m. at the Otis Grill at Harvard and Wellesley. Emerson was a co-owner of the Otis Grill before she died in a snowmobiling accident earlier this year. The event will include a spaghetti feed for $7.99 a plate and a silent auction and raffle.

At the same time the small town of Rockford will be putting on its annual FredNeck's Frog Regatta Festival that starts at 1 p.m. The afternoon includes free hot dogs in the park from 1 to 2 p.m., free games for kids in the park beginning at 2 p.m. and a frog regatta down Rock Creek beginning at 3 p.m. There are cash prizes for the regatta and frogs can be purchased Saturday in the park for $5.

Rockford is fairly easy to find. Just head south on Highway 27, stay on the highway until you get to Rockford, then take a left just after the overpass.

Discovering Spring

It's been closed all winter, but next week Spokane Valley will re-open it's premier park.

Discovery Playground, 2426 N. Discovery Place, will open April 15 with a ceremony from 3 to 5 p.m. The event is open to all ages and will include a tree planting with Mayor Tom Towey and other city officials. There will also be interactive vendors near the shelter area where visitors can receive seedlings to take home and plant.

For more information, call Recreation Coordinator Jennifer Papich at (509) 720-5408 or email

They were lost, but now they’re found

You will see a post below about giant eagle eggshells stolen from Discovery Playground in Spokane Valley, but I’m able to report that the eggs have been found. At least two different residents called Crime Check yesterday to say they saw the eggs along the side of the road on Mohawk Drive off Dishman-Mica Road.

The eggs are now safely back in the park department’s custody. The eggs are “scuffed up” and damaged from their forced removal, said city spokeswoman Carolbelle Branch. “They can be repaired,” she said.

So when the park reopens in the spring, look for the eggs to be back in the nest. 

Have you seen these eggs?

A thief apparently climbed the waist high fence surrounding Discovery Playground in Spokane Valley last week and made off with two oversized eagle eggshells. The theft was discovered the morning of Oct. 24 when park staff was making a routine check of the park, which is closed for the season.

The new park opened in May and has been hugely popular. The eggshells were placed on a raised walkway above the climbing wall and were a favorite of small children, who would climb inside.

Anyone with information about the theft or where the eggshells are now is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

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Welcome to the Spokane Valley blog. Here we cover news, events and information from the greater Spokane Valley area, including Millwood, Otis Orchards, Liberty Lake, Newman Lake, Rockford and Fairfield.

Stop by often to find stories, information on events received too late to print in the Valley Voice and breaking news.

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