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District moving forward with design of bank repairs and trail improvements along Drake Park at Mirror Pond

February 27, 2017

Public meeting on March 8 to learn more about the project

Sometimes a small step is needed to put bigger change into motion, and the Bend Park and Recreation District is doing that with a project along Drake Park at Mirror Pond.

The District is moving ahead with designs for realigning the river-right banks of Mirror Pond from the Galveston St Bridge to Pacific Park, reestablishing riparian habitat and repairing failing trail surfaces. The project will also build new sections of the Deschutes River Trail and integrate this work into the existing features of Drake and Pacific parks.

As part of the design process, the first public meeting is scheduled for March 8, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the Community Room at the District Offices, 799 SW Columbia Street. Members of the community are invited to learn more about the project and ask questions.

For several years, the District, the City of Bend and others worked together to find a common community vision to address sediment accumulation, water quality and environmental issues in Mirror Pond.  This process led the District Board of Directors and the Bend City Council to adopt a community vision in 2015.

In recent months, the District has decided to move forward with implementing portions of the vision affecting Drake Park and the Deschutes River Trail from Drake Park to Pacific Park.

“This area along the river at Mirror Pond has significant historical and recreational significance to the community and the current project aligns with the community vision agreed upon by the Bend City Council and District Board,” said Don Horton, executive director. “This project won’t resolve all issues related to Mirror Pond, but it is a great start.”

The bank repair and riparian habitat improvements project will not consider downtown redevelopment of parking lots, address sediment removal in the pond or the sources of those materials, or consider river-left locations including Harmon or Brooks parks or private properties.

“This project requires a more detailed design effort to address existing safety, accessibility, environmental and maintenance issues,” added Horton.

In September 2016, the District enlisted help from GreenWorks, PC for initial design development on a project to address:

  • Methods for bank realignment and restoration;
  • Identification of permitting requirements;
  • Mitigation of safety issues;
  • Detailed cost estimates; and
  • Potential project phasing and schedules.

The March 8 public meeting and other outreach with groups and individuals in the community will provide input into the design process. Neighboring landowners, the environmental community and other stakeholders will be involved as more detailed design plans are developed.

The initial design phase is expected to take eight months. Following design, additional planning will be needed to determine a funding strategy and timeline for development.

For more information, visit the Mirror Pond project webpage at: https://www.bendparksandrec.org/current_projects/mirror-pond-project/.