PORTLAND, Ore. -- Lents Park, a place plagued by crime and homelessness, is getting new life.

On Thursday, dozens of neighborhood kids helped christen the park’s new playground. They climbed the rock wall, played the drums and bounced on the rainbow-colored rubber ground.

Portland Parks & Recreation spent months perfecting the playground, which is set to open to the public on Friday.

“I've never been to a park better than this," said 10-year-old John Dennis. “When I found it I was like ‘Wooo!’”

Robert Schultz brought his three kids to the playground.

“I played in this park as a kid,” said Schultz, describing the full-circle moment.

He said Lents has been in need of a hand up, for years.

"This neighborhood is really hard to deal with because there's so much drugs and homelessness, and they're tied so closely together you can't figure out who to help,” said Schultz. “Having something like this is a very positive thing that kind of gives you hope again that good things are happening, too.”