North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District, in partnership with the city of Milwaukie, launches project

The North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD), in partnership with the city of Milwaukie, has launched a final design project for Milwaukie Bay Park, which is located between the Willamette River and downtown Milwaukie.

PHOTO COURTESY: NCPRD - The city of Milwaukie is working with a design team to develop construction plans for stabilizing the riverbank, improve riparian habitat, provide a durable access route, and enable park visitors to visit the low-water beach area safely.A plan for the park was approved by the city's Planning Commission in 2010, serving as the foundation for many agencies, community partners and local citizens. The current effort is aiming to design and develop many new amenities and recreational opportunities.

Park visitors have seen many enhancements made by the city over the past decade, including the Klein Point Overlook, new boat launch and landing, auto and boat trailer parking, restroom facility, temporary Trolley Trail connection, a riverside path, riverbank stabilization and plantings, and an improved access bridge over Kellogg Creek. A riverbank repair project also is funded and will begin this month.

"Serving as essentially the city's front yard, the completion of Milwaukie Bay Park is currently one of City Council's top three goals," said Milwaukie City Councilor Wilda Parks. "We're excited to see the final design phase get underway and become a more active space for our community to enjoy."

Several park design elements identified in 2010 and subsequent planning will be reviewed, revised and updated to meet current needs.

A multidisciplinary design team led by landscape architecture design firm Studio was hired in June and immediately began work behind the scenes in July to analyze the site, review project history and prepare for community outreach in August.

"We're excited to partner with the city of Milwaukie on this final design project and to see so many community members getting involved to help shape the future of the park. These park enhancements will provide new recreational opportunities and amenities that residents will be able to enjoy for generations to come," said Scott Archer, NCPRD director.

Several hundred community members attended a celebration in the park Friday, Aug. 24, to enjoy food, fun and music, while sharing preferences for various elements of the improvements to be designed, including a children's play area, interactive water feature, incorporation of art and an event space.

An online survey during August also allowed people to share feedback on these same elements. Project team members attended several community events last month, including the Milwaukie Farmers Market.

Based on current community input, there is a preference toward natural-style play aesthetics, as well as places to sit and relax, and there was buzz around on event space that can be used for social gatherings, such as live music. Many people are asking how the geese can be kept away, which is a strong consideration for future park revisions.

About a thousand people have shared initial thoughts on the project elements, and now the design team will be using this early public input to draft alternative designs. This fall, a public event will welcome attendees to review the draft alternatives.

A preferred design will be selected in early 2019. The city and NCPRD will then aim to prepare plans to start construction in 2020.

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