Summary of March 21 board of directors meeting

March 22, 2023

The BPRD board of directors met on March 21 and a video recording is available. The board was presented with information and staff recommendations for future river projects at Miller’s Landing, McKay and Columbia parks. Several community members attended to provide comments ahead of the board decision.

To best manage the increased recreational river use and improve the experience for all users at these parks, the district developed the Deschutes River Access & Habitat Restoration Plan. The first three projects identified in that plan that have begun a full development process are: McKay Park (project #20), Miller’s Landing Park (project #21) and Columbia Park (project #22). These three projects, which include four river access points, have been combined into a single larger project for the purposes of design and public outreach.

“This feels like our chance to do right by the river, which is our most precious resource that we steward,” said Deb Schoen, board chair.

The board made the following decisions:

  • Approved development of staff recommended preferred conceptual design at McKay Park.
  • Approved development of preferred conceptual design providing a developed river access improvement at Miller’s Landing Park at Access Point 2.
  • Approved the development of river access improvements at Miller’s Landing at Access Point 1 consistent with concept.
  • Directed staff to move forward with providing developed river access improvement at Columbia Park.

Additional planning and design will be done in addition to securing grant funding and establishing timelines that may take years.

With a consent vote, the board approved a resolution to support a 2023 Sawyer Park Asset Replacement Project Local Government Grant Program grant application. Sawyer Park is a 58-acre community park in northwest Bend that stretches along both sides of the Deschutes River. Formerly an Oregon State Park, it was dedicated to the district in 1980. Much of the park needs repair as it has gone beyond normal maintenance. The existing paving is rutted and pot-holed, and the park’s layout and spatial planning needs to be adjusted to meet current demand and safety concerns. The project is included in the current 5-year Capital Improvement Plan.

In work session, the board was introduced to new staff members of the Park Services facilities team, received an overview of marketing and communications, and an update about the park stewardship program.

The next meeting is April 4.