State grant helps vision for the next 10-15 years of recreation in Estacada parks

FILE PHOTO - This stretch along the Clackamas River is one of the areas that will be included in the city of Estacadas parks master plan update.

At a recent open house for Estacada's parks master plan update, participants shared ideas for the development of the waterfront park along Lakeshore Drive.

City staff and consultants from design firm MIG Inc. asked attendees for feedback on several concept ideas presented about the waterfront area at the Tuesday, Dec. 12, event.

"(The waterfront park is) one of many focus areas (of the parks master plan update), but because it's so underdeveloped it's a big focus because we need some ideas that we can visualize," said Melanie Wagner, assistant to the city manager.

Currently, the area along the Clackamas River near Lakeshore Drive has a path that stretches between Beech Road and Timber Park, but the project team for the parks master plan update hopes to see additional features that will create more access to the area for residents.

One concept presented at the open house focused on the area along the water itself, and another focused on ways to connect the stretch of land to downtown Estacada with access for walking, biking or driving between the two sections of town.

"Some ideas were improving the walking and cycling path down there, adding some interpretive elements, creating a public space with maybe a concessionaire (and) a non-motorized water trail for kayaks and canoes," Wagner said. "A non-motorized bridge across the river for pedestrians and cyclists would be a great thing. That's one of the big ideas that was presented."

The various ideas for parks around town from the open house will be posted at, and Wagner encouraged residents to email their feedback.

"We want to get concrete ideas out there and see what people would enjoy," Wagner said. "What are they looking forward to? What would they like to see us put effort into? Some of the ideas, they might seem like 'Oh, wow, that will never happen,' but with the previous parks master plan, we did not have a skatepark. It seemed like a pipedream, but now we have a beautiful skatepark that a lot of people enjoy."

Last October, the city received a grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for the update to the parks master plan created in 2004. The new plan will outline the next 10 to 15 years of parks projects in Estacada.

The update process began with a walking tour of local park facilities, followed by a survey for residents, available on the city's website, about their parks usage. The project team also has met with the Parks and Recreation Commission and other stakeholders like Portland General Electric and completed a report of the exist-

ing conditions of parks facilities.

Wagner noted that the final results of the updated plan, which will be presented to the City Council for consideration next summer, will cater to a variety of interests.

"At the bottom (of the parks use survey results), there's skateboarding and horseback riding. Things that fewer people do, but that doesn't mean they're any less important. There's just a smaller group of people that do them," Wagner said. "But the people that do them, that's their thing. So we don't want to say we're only (focusing on) the top of this list that people gave us. We'll try to also work on things that other groups do, too."

She added that many survey respondents expressed interest in a splash pad.

"I'm sure that's going to make the cut," she said.

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