Tualatin moves to revitalize Stoneridge Park
Tualatin hopes to redesign, remodel and refresh a small neighborhood "pocket" park.
Stoneridge Park, located on the north side of Southwest 68th Avenue just off Sagert Street, currently sits on one-third of an acre of property, land that city officials hope could be expanded to as much as one-half acre if additional planned easements and right of way acquisition is approved, according to parks officials.
Ross Hoover, the city's parks and recreation director, said the park is located in a part of the city with a high number of Spanish-speaking residents. Like many city governments, Tualatin has historically struggled to engage residents who don't speak English as their primary language, so city officials hosted several open houses last summer to do outreach. Hoover said they received a high level of community response and interest.
"We set about reimagining the park and rethinking (and) engaging with the community in doing that," said Hoover. "We led with Spanish. We hired a consultant firm, Shapiro Didway. The consultant firm brought on a team of individuals that were fluent Spanish speakers (who) really connected meaningfully with the folks onsite."
Built in the 1970s and early 1980s, the park is badly in need of remodeling, Hoover said, noting that current access to the facility is through a hole in a chain link fence.
Rich Mueller, Tualatin Parks and Recreation manager, said the consultant conducted a site assessment at Stoneridge Park, then asked the public what they wanted to see there. Bridgeport Elementary School also partnered with the city in helping get information out to families in the area for the neighborhood engagement nights.
"It's Stoneridge subdivision that's around this park as well as three apartment complexes, the biggest one being Rolling Hills Apartment with approximately 277 units," Mueller noted.
Last summer's two open houses resulted in more than 100 people showing up for each meeting that adhered to COVID-19 guidelines, spread over a four-hour period. Two online surveys were distributed as well with each receiving just under 150 responses, half of which were taken in Spanish, officials said.
In the end, total community engagement on the park plan included just over 750 people.
Mueller said children got directly involved during the on-site meetings as well.
"They did pictures on asphalt with chalk showing, 'What would you like in your park? What do you want to see (as far as) playthings?'" he said.
Among the preferred park design options were a splash spray pad or water feature, a nature play area, an early childhood area, swings, a play structure, climbing wall, half of a multi-sports court, and mural art decorating the park's fence line.
Mueller said while there are picnic tables throughout the park, there was not a strong desire for a covered picnic shelter. However, there were requests for new and brighter lighting throughout the park.
The next steps are to have neighborhood children and their parents decide what type of play equipment they would like.
The city must also come up with a funding source for the $2.57 million price tag it needs to bring the preferred design to fruition.
"This is a project that would draw upon multiple sources," said Hoover. "This project will need local funding (and) will also be eligible for regional funding."
He said Metro's 2019 bond measure that includes money for parks could be funding source.
Mueller said a timeline for construction is dependent on identifying the funding sources, but the Tualatin City Council recently approved moving the project forward.
"It really represents the desires and needs of the community," he said. "The future generations who will use this space, it's about that."