2012, a year of achievement; many more bond projects planned in '13
The Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District continues to fulfill the promise it made in a bond measure approved by voters in 2008.
Eleven projects were completed in 2012, most notably the expansions/renovations of the Conestoga Recreation & Aquatic Center and Elsie Stuhr Center and the redevelopment of Camille Park. THPRD has now finished 48 projects since bond implementation began in 2009. Three more projects are scheduled for completion this month, one will finish in February, and some of the largest projects are yet to come.
“We accomplished a tremendous amount in 2012,” said THPRD General Manager Doug Menke. “It’s a tribute to solid planning, execution, fiscal management and hard work.
“But we still have a long way to go. It will be 2017 or 2018 before we finish all the projects in our bond program. This is definitely a marathon.”
The $100 million bond measure is designated to preserve natural areas, develop new trails and trail connections, add athletic fields, and upgrade or expand parks and recreational facilities across the district. Once the measure passed, district managers began the process of planning and implementing 129 projects over a multiyear period.
One-third of the bond measure ($33.6 million) is earmarked for land acquisition. To date, the district has purchased 14 sites for future parks and natural areas as well as numerous small properties and easements for trails. District employees continue to negotiate with owners of many other properties.
2012 PROJECTS SCHEDULED FOR COMPLETION THIS MONTH
Evelyn M. Schiffler Park
This 10-acre park in central Beaverton has been closed nine months while undergoing a major makeover. It now features 252 feet of boardwalk, play equipment with natural surfaces and textures, two picnic shelters, community gardens, athletic areas, a basketball court, pathways, and a skate spot (the latter is a first for the district outside of its main complex at 158th and Walker Road). Another plus for park visitors will be a two-acre wetland area with restored habitat and overlooks for better views.
Two new segments, totaling one mile of paved trail, complete the Rock Creek Trail within THPRD boundaries. The trail, which stretches through neighborhoods from Bethany to Rock Creek, is now more than four miles long. Next year, THPRD will expand its trail connections even more on the north end as part of a multiyear initiative to create a 10-mile, mostly continuous trail backbone extending from the PCC Rock Creek area to Barrows Road in south Beaverton.
The Bluffs Park (trail)
The Bluffs Park, near NW McDaniel and NW 119th Roads, includes a neighborhood trail shown in the district’s Trails Plan. Phase II of implementation of the park’s master plan, which began in 2012, included paving the trail from South Drive through to the children’s play structure, landscaping, signage and swales (natural stormwater filtering system).
2012 PROJECT SCHEDULED FOR COMPLETION IN FEBRUARY 2013
Jordan Woods Natural Area (trail, natural area restoration)
Located in the Cedar Mill neighborhood, this project connects Jackie Husen Park to the Jordan Woods Natural Area and nearby neighborhoods. Paved and gravel paths, a 100-foot boardwalk, and two bridges improve access. There’s also an overlook. Weeds and invasive species are being replaced with native shrubs and plants.
OTHER NOTABLE PROJECTS COMPLETING IN 2013
Paul & Verna Winkelman Park
Spanning more than 20 acres, Paul & Verna Winkelman Park will become the Aloha area’s first community park as additional funds become available to complete it. Phase I construction, which started in 2012, includes a multi-use athletic field, a parking lot, perimeter pathway and one-acre natural area planting. An added bonus is a two-acre dog park, which will become the district's second (in addition to Hazeldale Park). The park will open this summer, with athletic field programming to begin in fall.
This key project includes three new segments of the Westside Trail. When finished, it will complete the southern half of the trail within district boundaries, extending from the Tualatin Hills Nature Park to Barrows Road. The new segments are expected to be available to users this summer.
Bronson Creek Greenway (natural area restoration)
In conjunction with Clean Water Services, THPRD is restoring this stream corridor by removing large amounts of invasive reed canary grass and other weeds, replacing them with native plants. Large logs have been placed for the benefit of wildlife, including western painted and western pond turtles, both of which are listed as “critical” on the state’s sensitive species list.
Park managers have taken on extensive natural area rehabilitation at Jenkins Estate over the last three years. To benefit native squirrels and song birds, invasive plants such as English ivy, Himalayan blackberry and other weeds have been removed and replaced with more than 30,000 native plants and shrubs. Crews are working on new trails, enhancing existing trails and re-routing or closing others for better walking experiences and to create larger blocks for wildlife.
MAJOR 2013 PROJECTS STARTING SOON OR UNDER WAY
As these projects near completion, the district is preparing to begin construction on a series of new projects this spring. Most of the 2013 projects center on trails and neighborhood parks. Scheduled for complete development are Barsotti Park (between 160th and 170th Avenues in Beaverton) and Hansen Ridge Park (off NW Kaiser Road). Both are expected to open in late fall.
Redevelopment of A.M. Kennedy Park, at 102nd and Kennedy between Canyon Road and Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, has already begun and will continue throughout the winter, spring and summer.
Smaller redevelopment projects at Vista Brook, Pioneer, and Roy E. Dancer Parks are scheduled to begin this spring and finish by year-end.
Scheduled to start this summer and finish next winter is a trail expansion project at the 29-acre Lowami Hart Woods at SW Hart Road and SW Murray Boulevard. Some trails will be rerouted and paved for better walking experiences and viewing of wildlife habitat. As part of a large natural area restoration project planned at the same site, weeds and invasive species will be removed and replaced with native plants and shrubs.
“There’s nothing better than to see our patrons enjoying their new facilities and knowing we’ve done our best with the bond funds they entrusted to us,” said Menke. “We appreciate their support and patience.”
For a full description of all upcoming and completed bond projects, go to www.thprd.org/bondprojects.
Formed in 1955, THPRD is the largest special park district in Oregon, spanning about 50 square miles and serving more than 220,000 residents in the greater Beaverton area. The district provides year-round recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Offerings include thousands of widely diverse classes, 90 park sites with active recreational amenities, 60 miles of trails, eight swim centers, six recreation centers, and 1,400 acres of natural areas. For more information, visit www.thprd.org or call 503/645-6433.
Director – Communications
|Date: January 14, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Click here for official release (PDF).