New ‘ninja-style’ challenge course opens in Kennewick

There’s a new children’s playground next to Desert Hills Middle School in Kennewick that offers something a little different.

The 4,700 square foot ‘ninja-style’ obstacle course is meant to provide an outlet to practice speed, agility, strength and balance. It’s designed for teens and adults, but kids can enjoy it as well.

“There are 11 components and it’s intended to be completed in about 10 minutes,” said Emily Estes-Cross, parks and recreation director for the City of Kennewick. “There is a timer function so that people can not only see how they do but maybe even compete with others.”

Estes-Cross said you can find these types of courses around the nation, but this is the first of its kind in the Tri-Cities.

The $275,000 of equipment and construction is funded with Park Impact Fees, not resident taxes. Park Impact Fees are paid by residential property developers for every new home built in Kennewick, and earmarked for new parks and recreation amenities in the same designated area.

Since the city doesn’t own park land in the southwest portion of Kennewick, it partnered with the school district to use their property on West 15th Ave. just off Bob Olson Parkway.