Preferred park scheme showcases shore setting


News staff writer

March 18, 2006

Blending recreational uses into a naturalized setting was the challenge faced by the designers of a “world-class” waterfront park.

“The final imagery is intended to be cascading in nature,” explained architect Frank Rudloff when the plan was publicly revealed on Thursday.

Christine Knowles, co-chair of the Park Development Committee, believes the GreenWorks, Inc., team has more than succeeded at that task.

She is well pleased with the final schematic that was crafted by the Portland firm from public comments taken during two meetings and via a survey.

“I’m really excited that GreenWorks has done such a good job of listening to people,” said Knowles. “Our challenge now is phasing it so that we can fund it.”

An active fund-raising campaign is now underway for the project that is expected to cost about $4 million. Knowles said the PDC and City of Hood River, which owns the six acres of park property known as Lot 6, will also soon submit a state grant request for $500,000.

The family park envisioned by the PDC and involved community members calls for an undulating shoreline with an inset beach on a gradual slope. The 18-foot differential in elevation accommodates a grassy terraced amphitheatre to the west with interspersed seat walls.

Designer Michelle Guthrie said the intent was to create an informal environment that could comfortably seat 1,500 people — or provide picnic space for two.

North of the amphitheatre is a viewing area over the Columbia River that closely resembles historical Native American fishing platform. On the water of the cove floats a dock to provide a diversion for swimmers.

Most of the east end of the park is dedicated to an open field of about 300 feet across for model airplane flying, soccer and other sports.

The main entry into the park from 66 parking spaces along Portway Avenue is highlighted by a piece of art that measures wind power. Along the central path there is room for 40 vendors to set up wares during special events.

The play area located next to a restroom with translucent roofing also follows the natural theme. Children are provided with water, sand and climbing opportunities. Nearby, shade trees allow their guardians to remain comfortable while keeping a watchful eye.

The picnic shelter to the east of the beach allows a spectacular view of the Columbia for 30-50 people. The wide steps leading down to the water’s edge can also provide a perch for recreationists.

Not only is the park designed for human occupation, it is intended to create healthy habitat for passing fish runs on the Columbia River. Mike Abbate, principal designer from GreenWorks, said the beach creates a shallow habitat area that will be protected by riverfront planting of willow, dogwood and other native plants.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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