History of Ryan's Place Park
A Memorial to Ryan’s Adams, words from a plaque at the park.
Ryan’s Place Park was constructed by the love, generosity, and hard working people of Cache Valley and beyond. It is inspired by the love and joy of a 2 year old, Ryan Adams, who passed on to a new adventure in August of 2006.
Ryan was loved by many, and left us a great example of the joy that comes from running barefoot, eating lots of snacks, and loving those around us. He loved to swing, play in the sandbox, ride his big wheel and be in the boat with his Dad. He especially loved people and wouldn’t let anyone leave without saying goodbye. He loved to share all he had with others, and so his parents decided that sharing with others is what Ryan would have wanted. Donations given at Ryan’s funeral were planned to provide a new swing and slide, but because of the outstanding generosity of the community of River Heights, Cache Valley, and Ryan’s extended family, a larger park was possible. Ryan’s dad loves to build and create new things, and he worked tirelessly to make his project possible. Ryan’s parents partnered with a company named Leathers, who builds community built parks, and moved forward to find volunteers to help make a park in Ryan’s memory, and a place to celebrate all of our loved ones that have passed on. Because of the sacrifice of many, the park became a magical place for kids to play and make memories with friends and loved ones.
Ryan’s Place Park was constructed by the children, residents, and businesses of Cache Valley. Their time, money, commitment and love made this park possible. Bosses were tossed off a bungee tower for a fundraiser, bake sale money was collected, aluminum cans were recycled, car cruise rallies were held, and children sold drinks at lemonade stands. Church youth groups spent many hours preparing the ground by digging holes for. posts. Scout groups put soap on all of the screws, and kids crushed tiles for mosaic in the front of the park. Nineteen committees involving more than one hundred people coordinated the construction. Each committee member worked behind the scenes for four months to arrange for the fundraising and the many volunteers that were needed. The students at Riverheights Elementary, ad Ryan’s siblings Aubree and Josh, designed the fun components in the park. The rocket ship was a favorite idea of many of the kids and it became the center of the playground. There is an area for parents to sit and enjoy the sounds of laughter and to celebrate the lives of those they have loved. The pavers in this area are called Celebration Stones.
After all the planning, fundraising, and scheduling of volunteers the park was built in just 5 days! From May 15th-May 19th, 2007 over two thousand people volunteered in four-hour shifts to construct this playground. We had 27 people volunteer to be Captains. They worked 12-16 hours each day organizing the groups of volunteers and donating their labor and skills. Neither screw in a finger, or nail in foot could stop the park from being built.
As you play here, please respect the many people who sacrificed and volunteered to make this beautiful park possible. Please take care of it so it will last for many years to come. Have fun! There is a special feeling here and it comes from the great love of this community and the lives that are celebrated here.
Written by Aunt Jamie and Ryan’s Mom
There is a perpetual fund named Friends of Ryan’s Place Park set up to keep the park updated and cleaned. There is a community work day each June to help with the upkeep and maintenance. For more information please visit the Facebook page – Ryan’s Place Park.
Ryan's Place Park Location
Ryan’s Place Park was built at Heber Olsen Park in the heart of Riverheights.
There is parking along the road on the east side of the park. The playground is lined with a little fence for aesthetic and from my experience, slowing down the escape plan of energetic toddlers.
Ryan's Place Park - A great place to make memories
Ryan’s Place Park is such a fun place to play, the kids will be entertained for hours. There is something for all ages. While photographing, I witnessed an adult endulged in play time also. Made me smile.
If you're in the hood near Ryan's Place Park
Stop for a minute. Let the kiddos run. Catch your breath. Listen to the sound of laughter and play.