Waterfront park plans unveiled

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

February 8, 2006

With a flourish, Hood River Port President Sherry Bohn turned over a red-ribboned property deed to Hood River Mayor Linda Rouches on Monday morning.

“With the donation of this property to the City of Hood River and the successful completion of the new Second Street extension, aptly named North Second Street, the road to success is being paved both literally and figuratively for the creation of a new waterfront park,” said Bohn.

She expressed hope that the park would serve as a “catalyst for both waterfront and community economic development.”

“I personally find it very exciting to finally see some new activity on the waterfront and to see some forward movement,” said Bohn.

Rouches gratefully accepted the $1.7 million donation of the property known as Lot 6. Already, fund-raising efforts are underway to turn the barren six acres into a landscaped recreation area for people of all ages.

Tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. the Park Development Committee (PDC), a technical work group composed of citizens, will unveil three possible park designs. The open house in the ballroom of the Hood River Hotel includes a presentation from the consulting team of GreenWorks, Inc.

The Portland-based firm was paid $22,000 by Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District to incorporate the PDC’s primary goals into the preliminary designs.

GreenWorks will present the same information from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday at Wy’east Middle School in Odell.

“We really want to hear from as many people as we can. We need to know how to make this the most inclusive community space possible,” said Mark Zanmiller, PDC co-chair.

All three conceptual plans have commonalities, such as some type of swimming beach, an amphitheatre, play area and vegetation that serves as a wind block. However, each drawing also had distinct differences in the placement of the amenities. For example, one curving beach has a gravel island and another is more linear to better delineate uses.

The PDC and GreenWorks are looking for citizens to tell them which features they like and which they would prefer to eliminate. Individuals attending one of the two forums will be provided with an opportunity to give both written and verbal comments.

Once GreenWorks has compiled these remarks, a preferred park design will be drafted. That rendering will be displayed from 7 to 9 p.m. on March 16 at the Hood River Hotel.

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