Water recreation listed as priority by local residents, splash pads frequently mentioned

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CITY OF ESTACADA - The city of Estacada recently conducted a survey of usage for parks and other city facilities, including Wade Creek Park.

Have you ever wondered what the top three activities in Estacada parks are?

A recent survey found the answer to this question to be walking or hiking; picnics and barbeques; and enjoying the playgrounds. City of Estacada leaders are in the process of updating the parks master plan, and a survey about the uses of parks and other facilities was posted on the city website during the month of July.

The survey drew responses from 324 people and focused on Wade Creek Park, Cazadero Park, the Lakeshore Trail, the Veteran's Memorial Park, downtown Broadway Street, local school facilities, the Cycling Plaza and Timber Park, as well as nearby state and county parks.

According to the survey, some of the most frequented areas in Estacada include the school facilities, with 27.9 percent of respondents saying they visited 4-7 times a week and downtown Broadway Street, with 24.2 percent of respondents saying they visited 4-7 times a week.

When polled about the most needed recreational facilities in Estacada, more than 50 percent of respondents selected features that include water play as their top priority. Additionally, splash pads were frequently mentioned in the survey's open-ended responses. When asked further questions about water recreation, respondents expressed an interest in accessing water for swimming, improved amenities along the Lakeshore Trail and better connections between downtown and Estacada Lake. They also reported user conflicts and safety issues as the top reasons that they do currently not participate in water recreation more often.

The desire for water recreation isn't a new trend in Estacada: Many respondents to a similar survey conducted in 2004 selected a swimming pool as one of the most needed recreational facilities in town. In the 2017 survey, respondents also selected playgrounds and baseball and softball fields as facilities that are needed.

In addition to opportunities for water recreation, the majority of respondents said more trials are needed — particularly looped pathways and paved paths.

Respondents who do not frequent Estacada's parks cited lack of facilities and feeling unsafe.

Feedback from the survey will be used to help shape Estacada's new parks master plan, for which the city received a $40,000 grant from the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department. The plan was last updated in 2004, and the new plan will outline the next 10-15 years of projects for Estacada parks.

Additionally, an open house will likely be held later this fall for residents to share their ideas and feedback.

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