The banks of the Deschutes River at Drake Park and Pacific Park have deteriorated over time, resulting in safety and environmental issues. The District is working with engineers and landscape architects to develop plans to improve the banks and finish the design of the Deschutes River Trail through Drake Park and Pacific Park. Design, engineering and permitting work will be ongoing over the next twelve to sixteen months.
Goals of the project:
- Advance the community vision of Mirror Pond approved by the District’s Board of Directors and the Bend City Council in March 2015
- Improve river-right bank from Galveston Avenue Bridge to Portland Avenue Bridge
- Repair Deschutes River Trail surface through Drake Park and extend the trail through Pacific Park
- Address ADA access to the Deschutes River Trail throughout the project area
- Address environmental issues
- Consider impacts on river-right bank with or without the PacifiCorp dam
What this project will not do:
- Does not consider downtown redevelopment of parking lots
- Does not consider redevelopment of the PacifiCorp Dam site
- Does not address sediment removal in the pond
- Does not address sediment loads or the sources of those materials
- Does not consider improvements along river-left features, including Harmon and Brooks parks, or private properties
Mirror Park at Drake Park in Downtown Bend
Property Tax, GO Bond, SDC, and Grant Funding
For more information on the Drake Park Project, please contact
Tel: (541) 706-6137
The District has identified a number of safety, environmental and maintenance issues along the edges of the river bank associated with the deteriorating rock (sea) walls and failing or missing trail surface from Drake Park to Pacific Park.
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 Mirror Pond community vision March 2015. Background documents related to the past Mirror Pond Visioning Project are available by request.
Currently, the District is working towards implementing portions of the vision affecting Drake Park, Pacific Park and the Deschutes River Trail only. The District will focus efforts on realigning the banks of Mirror Pond, reestablishing riparian habitat, repairing failing trail surfaces, building new sections of the Deschutes River Trail and integrating this work into the existing features of these two parks.
The District is also collaborating with Mirror Pond Solutions, LLC that owns the land underneath Mirror Pond.
- Phase One: Identify Priorities February to April 2017
- Phase Two: Schematic Design May to September 2017
- Phase Three: Design Development September to December 2017
- Phase Four: Construction Documentation June 2018 – Spring 2019
How will this project change Mirror Pond?
This project is intended to improve safety, accessibility, and habitat along river right along Mirror Pond (Galveston Bridge) through Drake Park to Pacific Park. The project also includes extending the Deschutes River Trail through this area. This work does not currently include any work on river left of this reach. The project is not intended to change significant aspects of Mirror Pond.
Why is this project needed?
The District has deferred much needed maintenance and repair work necessary along the edges of the Deschutes River throughout Drake Park caused by deteriorating rock walls and failing trail surfaces. The District has been making temporary repairs (e.g. filling sink holes, installing fencing, repairing erosion and installing signage) to address some of these issues, but these measures are no longer sufficient. On-going wear from heavy public use, weather and general deterioration of the river bank edges have taken their toll. Maintenance and repair of these conditions requires further design and financial investment to properly rehabilitate the river bank and trails.
Will this project involve sediment removal?
Sediment removal is not part of the District’s project scope. Designs for bank and riparian habitat improvements will accommodate changing water levels and the possibility of the PacifiCorp dam being removed at some point in the future. This project is only one step in the broader community vision adopted by the District’s Board of Directors and Bend City Council.
How are the broader interests of the community involved in the project?
There has been significant community interest and input through the Mirror Pond Vision process to date. The District will continue to work closely with private and public land owners throughout the project area during the course of this project. These landowners, the environmental community and other stakeholders will be involved as more detailed design plans are developed. In addition to public outreach, participants from organizations such as the Mirror Pond Solutions, LLC, the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, Deschutes River Conservancy, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Central Oregon Conservation Network, Environmental Center, and applicable permitting and regulatory entities for the state and City of Bend will be invited to participate in and review designs as they are developed.
How can members of the community learn more and/or ask questions?
The project will include opportunities for public updates throughout the project. As dates for public meetings are scheduled, meeting details will be communicated on this project webpage and via the District’s social media, local newspapers and email to community members who have signed up to receive updates.
Sign up for direct email notices or contact:
How long will this project take?
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.
Will the project’s bank plantings obstruct views to Mirror Pond?
The majority of Drake Park is at a higher elevation than Mirror Pond; therefore, the repair work designed along the pond’s edge and the establishment of riparian habitat will not significantly impact the view or enjoyment of walking along the pedestrian path.
Artist representations of how segments of pond’s edge may be re-vegetated:
What are the benefits of riparian edge over a concrete edge like there is now?
Riparian areas provide critical components for wildlife – water, shelter and food. Insect life supports birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish. Waterfowl and other birds depend on riparian areas for nesting, cover and wintering. Lawn does not provide this level of benefit and the existing seawall needs to be replaced with a more environmentally sensitive means to hold back the bank.
Will the size of the Drake Park lawn area change as a result of this project?
Drake Park will continue to be an important space for iconic events in Bend and the lawn area will remain central to the design. The amount of lawn space in the park for events will be virtually unchanged when the project is complete. Removing the concrete walls in some areas will be a reduction of lawn along the edge of the pond.