Miller Park play structure makeover begins

Demolition of the old play structure at Miller Park begins June 19. This is a rendition of what the new structure will look like when complete. Photo courtesy City of Florence

Old ‘Fort Miller’ to be dismantled June 19

June 16, 2023 — A much-anticipated project is set to kick off in Florence as the City prepares to replace the play structure at Miller Park, affectionately known as 'Fort Miller,' which has been a beloved fixture since its dedication in June 1987. The City aims to create an inclusive and accessible play environment for children of all abilities. The process is scheduled to commence on June 19.

In collaboration with Buell Recreation, the City has meticulously designed the new play structure, taking into account the specific needs of the park and valuable feedback from the community. The proposal received unanimous approval from the City Council during their meeting on January 23. The chosen design incorporates maritime elements, climbing components, slides, bridges and multiple platforms. Notably, the existing stand-alone swings will be preserved, refurbished, and integrated into the project. The play structure will cater to children aged 5-12, ensuring an engaging and enjoyable experience for all.

To enhance accessibility, the project will involve removing over 11,000 square feet of sand from the play area. The installation will encompass a combination of pour-in-place rubber surfacing material for fall areas, a walking path connecting the existing sidewalk near the picnic shelter to the play structure and swings, and engineered wood fiber chips for the remaining play area.

The financing for this ambitious venture will rely on a combination of grants and donations. Thus far, the City has secured $155,000 in grant funding, including a generous contribution of $75,000 from the Oregon Parks & Recreation LGGP and an $80,000 grant from the Lane County Public Health. However, additional funds are required to cover the project's full scope, as playground equipment of this caliber comes at a significant cost. The City is actively pursuing further grant opportunities while expressing gratitude to all those who have already contributed to this commendable undertaking.

Excitement is building as the first shipment of play equipment arrived on Tuesday, May 30. Public Works staff diligently unloaded and inspected the equipment, ensuring its compliance with quality standards.

Looking ahead, the forthcoming steps are marked with progress and anticipation. Public Works crews are slated to commence the dismantling of the existing play structure, 'Fort Miller,' on June 19. Concurrently, the removal of sand from the play area and site leveling will be carried out. Subsequently, starting from the week of June 26, the installation contractor will initiate the assembly and installation of the new playground equipment. The ultimate goal is to unveil the revitalized play area to the public on August 1, during the Florence Police Department's National Night Out at Miller Park. For those interested in witnessing the construction process, a live feed of the installation progress can be accessed via the City's construction camera located at

Regular updates on the project's development can be found on the City of Florence Facebook page, the City's newsletter, or the official website at Individuals wishing to contribute to the completion of this exceptional initiative are encouraged to make tax-deductible donations. To donate, simply visit Upon donation, a receipt will be promptly emailed for tax purposes. In-person donations can be made at City Hall, placed in the drop box at City Hall, or mailed to the following address:

Miller Park Playground Donation

250 Hwy 101

Florence, OR, 97439

Kindly indicate the need for a receipt and provide the appropriate mailing address if making an in-person, drop box, or mailed donation.

The City of Florence eagerly awaits the completion of this transformative project, grateful for the support of the community and enthusiastic about the enhanced play opportunities it will offer to children of all abilities.