|Volume 16, Issue 2||
We checked in with Bob Wayt, Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, on several stories we’ve been following.
The Bluffs Park Trail extension
In mid-December ten neighbors attended a meeting with Steve Gulgren, THPRD Planner, and other staff, to hear about proposed improvements to the trail that connects two Bonny Slope streets to Bonny Slope Elementary. Many students use the trail to get to school, and it is also used as a recreational trail by neighbors. The existing trail is a “soft trail” covered in wood chips. It gets muddy and is also very difficult for anything with wheels—bicycles, strollers, etc. It is quite steep in a few areas.
Park staff presented their options, and after gathering input from the neighbors and from Beaverton School District and the Trails Advisory Committee, the district has chosen an option that eliminates one segment of the soft trail, retains and improves another segment by adding gravel, and adds six foot wide paved trails connecting NW South Drive and NW 117th to the north end of Bonny Slope Elementary.
The trail winds through some nice native forest, but there is plenty of invasive vegetation that will be removed and replanted with native understory plants. A number of trees will need to be removed, but the forest character will be preserved. Construction is anticipated in summer of 2019.
“NE Park” plans
THPRD acquired land in 2001 and 2008 for a future park at the southeast corner of Saltzman and Laidlaw. Ward Creek runs through the property, which is mostly forested. A house on the first-acquired parcel has since been demolished by the district. There have been a few restoration projects recently to clear invasive ivy and blackberry, but no improvements are planned at this time. The park is to the north and west of currently developing areas of Bonny Slope West (BSW), the area that came into Washington County a few years ago to enable urban development. A trail is planned to connect the current Arbor development “Thompson Woods” to the park.
Bob Wayt says, “This property is not in the five-year capital improvement plan (CIP) for development. However, we are updating our Park Functional Plan (PFP), in which we will take a closer look at how and when we will develop parks in new urban areas, including North Bethany, South Cooper Mountain and Bonny Slope West. After the completion of the update of the PFP, we will update the 5-year CIP.”
New developments in BSW are required to annex into the district. Wayt says, “When building permits are pulled, they will be charged district system development charges.”
Lehman Farm park
In 2012, the district purchased the nearly seven acre farm from the estate of Laurence Lehman. Aside from demolishing the farmhouse, and recently removing the barns, nothing has been done with the property.
Washington County intends to realign Thompson Road through the middle of the property. The work will be paid for by the MSTIP Bonding Cost-sharing program. Most of the surrounding homes were built before the county required development to annex into THPRD, and that has been stated as the reason that the park hasn’t been developed.
Wayt says, “This property is on the 5-CIP but is unfunded. We have not recently had conversations with the county about the road.” We hope some conversations get started soon. The property would be ideal for a multi-use park with playing fields and a dog park.
Winterhawks Ice Rink
Last February we reported that talks were underway to build a professional ice hockey practice rink on the Terpenning Recreation Complex. Now we understand that the Winterhawks are requesting support for new Oregon legislation that would change the way the state looks at the compensation received by players. Washington County’s lobbyist, Bob McCauley, is working on this.
Wayt says, “We support the legislation, which would create an exemption for Winterhawks players and other Western Hockey League players, classifying them as amateurs rather than employees who would be subject to Oregon employment laws. Similar legislation has already been passed in Washington state and several Canadian provinces. The Winterhawks and Washington County support the bill, which we expect to be introduced in the short session.”
See the February 2017 article for more details of the proposed rink.
Terpennning skate park renovation work
If the ice hockey rink is built, it would displace the existing skate park in the NW corner of the Terpenning complex. However, the district is getting ready to replace much of the existing wooden ramp structure with concrete ramps.
Wayt notes, “Although we have made progress on our partnership with the Winterhawks, much work still needs to be done, and everything takes time. The Winterhawks are now launching a substantial fundraising effort necessary to build the facility. If they are successful, and it is determined that one or both of our existing skate parks fall within the building’s footprint, the Winterhawks will build new skate facilities for the public in a different location at HMT. That is a key part of our agreement with the team. In the meantime, we are maintaining our current skate parks to ensure their continued usefulness.”
Cedar Mill News
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