Friday, July 8, 2011/lk
Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District is looking for seven members of the Hood River community to serve on the Barrett Park Development Committee. The 32-acre uptown property at the corner of Barrett and Alameda roads is a prime open space, and the new committee will be responsible for developing an overall park plan, which includes elements of design, funding, construction and maintenance.
Applications were made available this week at the district's office (Hood River Aquatic Center) and will be accepted until July 20, after which time the HRVPRD board of directors will review and select committee members.
The district has received a variety of ideas and public comments for the new park, which began to take shape early this year. The committee's job will be to consider all feedback, create a plan for the park and present the plan for approval to the HRVPRD board.
"The input process is still open," said Lori Stirn. "We're still looking for ideas as to what people want to see in the park. As for committee members; we're looking for a blend of people with different experiences and skills. This may including walkers, sports group representatives, community garden proponents, neighbors and other user groups that have an interest in the future of Barrett Park."
The goal is for the committee to present a park plan to the HRVPRD board by the end of September for review. The plan will eventually be incorporated into the district's Comprehensive Master Plan project, which is expected to be completed in October.
A timeline for development of the new project is still fairly open. Until February, the property was a working orchard. To comply with conditions of a state matching grant, the district cleared the land of the trees in February. Since then light work has been done to portions of the land, but for the most part it remained untouched through the wet spring.
Stirn said work later in July will be done to till, level and seed about 9 acres in the northwest section of the property.
"The idea is to get people out there using the space as soon as we can," she said. Leveling and seeding the uphill, relatively flat section of the park will allow for at least some improved use of the space this year. As for the rest of the eastward-sloping property, plans are still open as to what, if any, leveling will be done.
"It would be very cost-prohibitive to level the entire thing," Stirn said. "Maybe some terracing in the future, but that will depend on what the public and the committee decides."
Stirn said the district purchased the property with at least some area in mind for sports fields like soccer or baseball
"Adding new ball fields have always been a part of the master plan for the district," said Stirn, "But the property has an approved conditional use permit which allows only passive recreation. Ball fields are not considered passive recreation at this time."