Grant funding secured for Sawyer Park renovation

October 11, 2023

The Bend Park and Recreation District has been awarded more than $2 million for an upcoming renovation of Sawyer Park.

The Sawyer Park Asset Replacement Project was awarded significant grants through two grant programs:  the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Local Government Grant Program where the project was ranked number one in the respective competitive process for both grants.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant program awarded $1,299,163 and the Local Government Grant Program (LGGP) awarded $749,163.

Based upon current cost estimates, 71 percent of the Sawyer Park project will be funded by grant monies. Grants are an important source of funding for the district to support improvements to, and expansion of, district amenities including parks, trails and facilities.

“These grants are instrumental to the district’s ability to construct community desired improvements,” said Rachel Colton, BPRD planner. “Grants also support operations and maintenance of other existing district assets that can be the focus for property tax funds.”

Sawyer is one of Bend’s oldest and most beloved parks. Years of use and increased visitation have created the need for an updated entrance and parking lot. The existing ones have reached the end of their life span and no longer provide the needed functionality and capacity for the park.

The upcoming project includes relocating the parking area closer to O.B. Riley Road, adding accessible parking and habitat restoration, improving trail accessibility, and the addition of a permanent restroom, picnic shelter and river overlook. The project is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2025.

BPRD received partner support for the grant applications, including by the City of Bend, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and Cascades East Transit, the Central Oregon Coalition for Access, and Bend Paddle Trail Alliance.