Parks director offers Barrett Park overview

Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District is in the permitting stage for improvements on the 31.4-acre Barrett Park property. This development will help meet the growing recreational needs of the community.

The Park District has applied for a local government grant. If funding is awarded, development on the Barrett Park could begin as early as this fall.

Phase 1 will provide 11 acres of open play fields, biking and walking trails, community garden spots, mountain bike skills area and needed parking and access.

Phase 2 will include picnic shelters, a playground area, bocce ball courts, a remote control flier area and dog parks.

Barrett Park land was purchased in 2007 with assistance from a $325,800 grant through the local government grant program.

The Hood River County Health Department, through a collaboration of County and nonprofit agencies, did a health impact assessment on the Barrett property.

The following benefits of community parks were highlighted.

n Improve health and wellness, build self-esteem, provide alternatives to self-destructive behavior, reduce stress and provide opportunities for learning.

n Build stronger families, enhance community spirit, reduce crime and promote ethnic and cultural harmony.

n Protect natural resources and open space areas, enhance air and water quality, reduce congestion, and protect wildlife habitat.

n Attract business relocation and expansion, contribute to healthy and productive work environment, attract tourist and retirees and enhance real estate values.

The main categories of park features desired by the community included:

n Open play fields

n Trails

n All-ages play and exercise features

n A community garden and community gathering spaces

If you would like details contact the Park District at 541-386-5720 or parksandrec@gorge.net.

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As the above benefits show, this park will positively impact all citizens of our community.

Lori Stirn, director of Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation, also serves on Healthy Active Hood River County or HAHRC.

The coalition was formed to promote physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco-free spaces. The next meeting will be May 15, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital in the board room.

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