A large, neighborhood playground with plenty of space to run around, the aquatic theme was a fun twist on a typical playground space.
There are fish everywhere. There is a big fish painted on the ground, fish sculptures, and fish in the plastic panels. The toddler section also has the vague outline of a small boat, and it was certainly possible to pretend we were on a fishing boat.
There is a big slide standing all on its own. At first it seems a little strange, and the only real problem here is it's easy for a kid to get cold feet at the top and have to back down a long staircase since there isn't a platform around it.
The playground overlooks sports fields, and this is probably a great way to entertain a child when a sibling is playing a sport. The whole complex is really well maintained, and you can see how the city really spends more money in certain neighborhoods.
The playground is fairly well fenced in, and we didn't really have any concerns with our toddler running off into the street, but the adult workout equipment was right in the middle of the playground area without anything separating it. That wasn't too much of a problem on a gray December day when it wasn't too busy. Our toddler used the equipment just like if it was a playground, but on a busier afternoon he probably would have interfered with people working out.
There was a lot of space to run around here, but that also left the sense that there could have been more equipment. The climbing structure for older children felt undersized, and wasn't that interesting. The most interesting part of this playground was the playful use of fish and aquatic themes, but otherwise it was fairly forgettable.
The playground is named for Russell Pedersen, a volunteer at the park who died in Vietnam as an infantryman during the war. The original park opened in 1941, but the playground was renovated in 1998 with a $161,000 grant.