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Park project receives go-ahead

A $295,000 grant will help create Estacada's skate park

Estacada mayor Becky Arnold was so thrilled by the news she cried.

The City of Estacada announced Thursday it had received an Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department grant award of $295,000 to complete Phase II of Wade Creek Park.

The park's second phase includes a 10,000 square foot skate park, which is the most expensive element of the plan, with an advanced bowl and 'street skate' features.

Beyond the skate park, the second phase of the plan will offer storm water planters and other landscaping features to beautify the grounds.

The application for the grant was submitted April 8 and reviewed in early June at a presentation in Sunriver. The city received its good news July 20.

Lottery dollars, not tax dollars, support the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Local Government Grant program that will fund completion of the park project, said Skip Haak, Estacada Parks and Recreation Commission member.

Haak said the skate park had been in the works 'for quite some time' but was 'put off for a while, while the city struggled to find the money to build it.

'Everyone is really excited to build this,' he added.

One of the reasons the second phase was successful, Haak said, was its ability to serve multiple needs within the community.

Beyond a skate park that caters to an inter-generational crowd, the recreational area will have two horseshoe pits, a sand and play area for children, extended sidewalks for more walking paths and a gathering plaza.

Park goers will find benches and picnic tables sprinkled throughout the park.

The city is in the process of requesting design and construction proposals and anticipates contracting with a firm in September.

Completion of phase II is scheduled for late spring or early summer 2012.

'There will be a big opening when it's completed,' Haak said.

He encouraged community members to look for announcements about September public meetings regarding the design of phase II.

'It's an opportunity to tweak them and ensure they fit better with the community,' Haak said.

Wade Creek Park is the first city park in Estacada. Built in 2008, the four acres include the Estacada Public Library, a pond, a natural viewing area, playgrounds, restrooms, a parking lot and a picnic pavilion.

As of Estacada News' deadline, the mayor and city councilors planned a celebratory community picnic for Monday, July 25, at City Hall, with a barbecue followed by the 7 p.m. City Council meeting.

In anticipation of the skate park, Todos Juntos, a local nonprofit organization, is playing host to a summer program for middle- and high school-aged youths that will focus half the activity time on creating a temporary skate-park sign.