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Grants will increase Estacada's walkability, outdoor activities

The city of Estacada received two state grants that will allow it to promote active lifestyles and outdoor recreation.

The city received $40,000 from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and $115,000 from the Oregon Department of Transportation to update its parks master plan and transportation growth and management plan, respectively.

The update to the transportation growth and management plan, which requires the city to provide 15 percent in matching funds, will focus on creating more pedestrian and bicycle friendly pathways.

The plan will detail which streets need sidewalks, since roads in several of Estacada’s older neighborhoods lack them.

“We want kids to be able to walk to school safely,” said city manager Denise Carey.

Carey further noted that routes to many places in Estacada lack sidewalks, including the Estacada Public Library, Wade Creek Park and the Estacada Farmers Market.

“There are a lot of routes we want to make safer for pedestrians,” she said.

City leaders hope to begin working with a consultant on the transportation growth and management plan later this year or early next year.

The update to the city’s parks master plan will include the entire plan, with a focus on parks in the city’s newer neighborhoods and the future riverfront park.

“As new subdivisions go in, we want to have pocket parks so that kids don’t have to walk too far,” Carey said. “We want to address the needs of the town.”

The goal of the riverfront park is to provide better access to the Clackamas River in town. The location for this park has not yet been determined.

Carey hopes the park will allow people to better access the river that runs directly through town.

“We want a park where people can sit, and maybe have a picnic,” Carey said. “During the Summer Celebration, if it’s 100 degrees outside, we want people to be able to walk across the street and put their feet in the river.”

Carey estimated that work would likely begin on the park within the next five years, and city leaders hope to incorporate community input into the process of creating a plan for the riverfront park.

“We’ll have outreach during the (planning) process,” she said.

Casey estimated that the updated parks master plan might be completed within a year.

She hopes both grants will provide additional opportunities for Estacada residents to be physically active and enjoy the area’s abundant natural features, whether it’s by walking to the farmers market or enjoying a day along the Clackamas River.

“It’s all coming together,” she said.

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