Web tower means summer fun

A towering pyramid of flexible cables is a hit at the Lithia Park children's playground this summer.

"It's awesome. You get to go up and down and all over," said Daniel Farrell, a 12-year-old from Ashland who was climbing the tower on a recent afternoon.

"It's pretty fun when you play tag," Jason Farrell, 7, added.

Even adults without kids are veering off a path that runs by the playground in order to examine the structure and tug its flexible but strong cables.

Teens are clambering up the tower or sitting on its cables, talking to their friends.

The Ashland Parks and Recreation Department installed the tower in late winter and has been getting rave reviews, Parks Superintendent Steve Gies said.

"We've had a tremendous amount of good comments. Big and little kids can be on it at the same time. Some are clear at the top and some are part way," he said.

The height of the tower gives some spectators pause as they watch kids of all ages climbing on the cables. It measures 19 feet from the wood chips at its base to the top &

twice as tall as a typical home ceiling.

Gies said the tower is safe, otherwise the parks department wouldn't have put it there. Kids who slip fall into the webs that make up the pyramid-shaped tower's interior. The wood chips create padding for anyone who falls to the ground, he said.

The maker of the Webscapes tower, Missouri-based Miracle Recreation Equipment Company, is a member of the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association. The industry group provides third-party laboratory certification that equipment meets safety specifications, according to the equipment company's Web site.

The recommended age range for the tower is 5 to 12 years old.

Talent resident Luke Milburn was watching his 5- and 7-year-old daughters as they maneuvered over the cables. He said he's not very worried that they could fall and be hurt.

"My kids are pretty much monkeys, but I can see some people's concerns," Milburn said.

He said the tower seems to be designed to minimize falls. He pointed out that kids need to be tall and coordinated enough to get to the middle of the pyramid before they can reach the cables that rise to the top.

Milburn was also watching two of his neighbor's children, ages 4 and 6, and noted the 4-year-old could not reach the middle cables.

Gypsy Bartlett of Ashland, 12, said the tower is now her favorite piece of playground equipment at Lithia Park.

"It's pretty cool," she said.

Staff writer can be reached at 479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.To post a comment on this story go to

Share This Story