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Two projects dominate park bond summer work


Cedar Mill, Tilbury renovations to be mostly finished by fall

Note: This story was amended on Thursday, July 3, to reflect that amenities such as a creek crossing and scenic overlook will not be included in phase one renovations at Roger Tilbury Memorial Park.

As far as having multiple bond measure-funded projects going at once, it would be tough for the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District to top the action-packed summer of 2013.

Work to fulfill promises fueled by the $100 million bond measure district voters approved in 2008 will continue, however, as this year’s run of dry, sunny weather kicks into gear.

“2013 was an extraordinary year for construction and activity,” said Bob Wayt, the district’s communications director. “We achieved a great deal for the park district residents. This year’s schedule is not as aggressive, but there are important projects just the same.”

No fewer than seven park projects were completed between fall 2013 and earlier this year. They include Barsotti, A.M. Kennedy, Pioneer, Vista Brook, Roy Dancer, Hansen Ridge parks and Lowami Hart Woods Natural Area, which was dedicated in June.

Two of the larger bond measure-funded development projects going on this summer include an overhaul of the Roger Tilbury Memorial Park at 9418 N.W. Cornell Road and redevelopment of the 4.97-acre Cedar Mill Park at 10385 N.W. Cornell Road and the adjacent Cedar Mill Elementary School sports fields.

The district’s board of directors approved both projects in May, with contractors brought on board in June. Grading and basic construction are expected to start in the next week or two.

The first phase of the $1.7 million Cedar Mill project could be completed by this fall, with Roger Tilbury Park set to reopen after its two-phase renovation by early winter.

The 14.3-acre Roger Tilbury Memorial Park, which has been closed to the public since last fall, will be transformed from an undeveloped area to a neighborhood park and natural area in two separate projects. The $800,000 first phase will include clearing and replanting of non-invasive plant species, creation of soft-surface trail connections, an open lawn, play equipment and nature-play areas. A second phase, which is dependent on grant funding, will include a creek crossing and scenic overlook.

“A small play area and trail system, similar to what we have at Jordan Woods, will weave through the park,” said Tim Bonnin, a district project manager.

The park, he noted, evolved from several pieces of land donated by Tilbury, an attorney, and his wife in the 1990s. “He and his wife had a love of nature and community,” Bonnin said, noting the district’s Natural

Resources department will oversee development of the natural area enhancement.

Improvements at Cedar Mill Park, which has been temporarily closed, and the elementary school include new tennis courts, sports fields, trails and a children’s play area. The district signed an agreement with the Beaverton School District last year to share property and simultaneously improve both district property and the school’s multi-purpose field to accommodate baseball, soccer and a range of athletic activities.

“We’ll improve their field as well,” Bonnin said. “It provides a benefit to (the district), because we can program both fields (for games and activities).”

As with Tilbury park, nature areas will be restored in a separate project likely to be completed by this winter.

The district will coordinate with school leaders to make sure the new sports fields aren’t put into use until the grass and surface is ready.

“We don’t want have (students) out there using it until its rooted,” Bonnin said. “Our schedule is really focusing around completing the ballfields as soon as possible, getting the seed down and the grass started. By late August or early September, it should be nice and warm and we’ll be able to get it germinated a lot quicker than waiting for rainfall.”

Cedar Mill Park, whose property the district purchased in the 1960s, started out with tennis courts and a parking lot. Purchases of additional parcels in recent years extended the park property west toward Southwest 107th Avenue. A soft-surface trail connecting the park with the street will be paved to provide safe and easy access to Jordan Woods, a natural area adjacent to Jackie Husen Park at 10955 N.W. Reeves St.

“There now will be a link,” Bonnin said. “You can walk about 500 feet to the east, along 107th, through the woods to Cedar Mill Park.”

After the flurry of construction on projects in the past three or four years, the Cedar Mill and Roger Tilbury park renovations indicate a near culmination of bond measure-funded activity.

“We’re starting to actually wind down the number of bond projects we have to do,” Wayt said. “We’re starting to get on the downhill side of the total implementation of the bond project.”