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Longview playground to be named after late special ed teacher
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Longview playground to be named after late special ed teacher

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At the park (copy)

Jonson sisters Melody, right, and Claira, play on the swings at Archie Anderson Park in March 2020.

The playground in Archie Anderson Park could soon be named after a recently deceased teacher and member of the Highlands Park community.

The Longview Parks and Recreation board approved a proposal Monday to name the ADA-compliant playground in Archie Anderson Park after Felicia Conley. The name proposal will be presented to the Longview City Council in the near future for final approval.

Born and raised in Longview, Conley was a special education teacher at Mint Valley Elementary School and the president of the Highlands Neighborhood Association. Conley was 58 years old when she died in April of 2020.

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Rayleen Aguirre, vice chair of the Parks and Recreation advisory board, knew Conley through her involvement with the parks near Highlands and suggested the creation of the Felicia Conley Memorial playground. Aguirre said that Conley has used Archie Anderson Park to host Easter Egg hunts for children with special needs and National Night Out events with the Longview Police Department through the neighborhood association.

“Here is where she helped those that may sometimes get overlooked be a part of our community and this was her passion to make us all one community,” Aguirre wrote in favor of the naming.

The playground in Archie Anderson Park was built in 2019 to be broadly accessible to students under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The playground equipment includes a see-saw platform for children in wheelchairs and activities for kids with a range of developmental and education levels.

Parks director Jennifer Wills said that Conley’s parents had signed off on the proposal before Aguirre brought the naming idea forward. Wills said that if the name is approved by the city council, a sign for the memorial playground will be set up in the near future.

The Parks and Recreation Board also reviewed an assessment of the conditions at Longview Skatepark. The overview by skatepark design company Grindline said the biggest dangers were cracks in the asphalt in front of obstacles and steel edges that had become exposed over time.

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