Three boys, Bryce Roberts, Parker Roosma and Dylan Roberts, climb on one of the big rocks installed and now open to all in Rotary Park at Bender Fields. Climbing on is exactly what the rocks are intended for. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

But finishing of new ball courts at Bender Fields will wait until spring weather

LYNDEN ­— The new climbing boulders at Bender Fields are now open to the public. A protective fence was removed on Monday.

The overall project of the Mt. Baker Rotary Club including basketball and pickleball courts and a volleyball sand pit won’t be completed in full until spring, but members of the community now have access to one major section over the winter. 

Club president Jeff Roberts said Bode’s Precast contributed to the project by installing the third climbing boulder for free at Rotary Park. 

Also, Whatcom Manufacturing stepped in and donated a flagpole that is now installed. “That really finished the park off nicely,” Roberts said. “It looks really well done.”

Whatcom Manufacturing is also creating the handrails that will go alongside 10 rock steps to the top of a berm that is an aesthetic central feature of the park.

Atop the berm will be two picnic tables, and from it parents will be able to view down to children playing in the area, said park designer Craig Telgenhoff, who is also a member of the club.

Telgenhoff, a professional designer and architect, said his work on Bender Park was all about “capturing space” creatively on a diagonal piece of land along trail and Fishtrap Creek. “It just happens to be outside,” he said.

On the design he wanted “a rhythm that draws you.”

Community donations and support have been a big part of the project coming together.

“It’s just fun sitting on the trail working all this week,” Roberts said. “The park is taking shape and now that it’s looking like it’s done, people are like, ‘Oh, wow, this looks nice,’ or ‘I can’t believe it turned out this good. It’s just so nice to hear the positive feedback from the community as they’re going by and seeing what’s happening.”

The entire area will be lighted and will have security cameras. Laying electrical trenches was part of the planning, as were also soft swales to take rainfall, Telgenhoff said. 

Up next for the project is finishing the basketball courts, but that won’t be until next year. 

“We have to wait for it to warm back up to do the asphalt this spring,” Roberts said. “We hope to do that in April and a week or two later we can put on the green and blue safety surface and the lights and open up.”