Consultant will soon be hired by Clackamas County Parks staff for creation of park master plan

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Clackamas County parks staff are starting the process of creating a master plan for Barton Park. The plan will map the next several decades of projects at the park.

Clackamas County Parks leaders are beginning to put together a master plan to chart the next several decades of projects at Barton Park.

Rick Gruen, parks and forest manager for Clackamas County, said it is "very early in the process" and noted that parks staff areputting together a scope of work for the Barton Park Complex Master Plan prior to hiring a consultant.

Gruen noted that one goal of the master plan would be to ease the flow of traffic at the park during the summer months.

"Summer recreation blows up Barton, and it blows up Carver," Gruen said. "We want to address that. At Barton, we're looking at the logistics of separating camping and day use. Everyone goes through the same ticket booth. We're looking at a road alignment to move campers away from the ticket booth (that day use vehicle go through). That will help with the flow of traffic."

Further possibilities to help ease road congestion include bike and pedestrian pathways along Barton Park Road.

Gruen noted that additional camping opportunities will also potentially be included in the plan.

"The capacity of traditional campsites are often maxed out on the weekends, so we're looking at ways of expanding (those opportunities)," he explained.

Additionally, a building on the park property will potentially become an event center.

More connectivity to the Cazadero Trail is another consideration.

"(Barton Park) is poised to become the epicenter of the Cazadero Trail," Gruen said, noting that additional trailhead access, connectivity and camping opportunities are possibilities for inclusion in the master plan.

Clackamas County Parks staff are working with Metro and the county's Transportation Maintenance Division, who each own approximately 40 acres of land near Barton Park. The three organizations hope to create an agreement for the additional land to be included in the master plan.

"We all have the same vision. It's just getting down to the details," Gruen said. "We hope to have that done by the start of summer."

Parks staff hope to begin working with a consultant on the master plan by the end of this summer, and Gruen estimated the plan would likely be completed a year after that.

The cost of creating the master plan has not yet been determined, though money has been put aside in the county parks reserve funds for the project.

Gruen noted that parks staff hope to create many opportunities for public input during the plan's creation process, including public meetings and open houses.

He added that the Bar-

ton Park Complex Master Plan will be a valuable project.

"Barton is the crown jewel of (the county) park system," Gruen said. "It's large, and it's the most well-known park. What we need to do is position ourselves for the next 20 years."

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