Canopy walk, food court among projects in $46 million Washington Park master plan

Portland is looking for input on the new master plan for Washington Park.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Parks & Recreation is seeking public input as it reaches the final stages of updating the new master plan for Washington Park.

The new master plan will revise the more-than-30-year-old document that dictates how the park is managed and will provide a blueprint for how the park will potentially change over the next few decades.

Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz said the goal of the new master plan was to improve access and enhance the visitor experience.

"The goal of the Master Plan, which is based on community input, is to enhance the experience for all, and to attract new visitors," Fritz said in a statement. "The plan improves the Park’s access, how people move through the park, adds needed services, and links park experiences, while honoring history and beauty.”

Interested citizens read through the master plan update and then complete a survey.

Read this first: Washington Park Master Plan Update

Then take the survey: Click here to take the survey

The new master plan for Washington Park, home to many of the city's most popular attractions, including the International Rose Test Garden, Oregon Zoo, Portland Japanese Garden, and Hoyt Arboretum, has been built using input from the public as well as findings from the city's technical investigation, a summary of findings on how people said they use the park.

Public input included the following suggestions:

  • Manage and enhance what is in the park first
  • Protect and enhance the natural areas
  • Use a multi-hub approach, and make information about the entire park, bathroom locations, and wayfinding clear and at multiple sites
  • Create a park identity and make wayfinding easier 
  • Enhance multi-modal options; with a goal of making the park less car-dependent
  • Look to add a variety of food options
  • Consider potentially adding a canopy walk as a park attraction

Photos: Washington Park draft master plan

According to the master plan update, the plan is broken up into three phases spread over the next 15+ years, with the total construction cost for plan projects estimated at $46 million.

Phase 1: According to the master plan update, Phase 1, which budgets $9.2 million for projects and projects to last 1 to 5 years, was described as such: "Start with upgrades and repairs to existing facilities with a focus on accessibility, restoration and improved circulation. Create gateways to establish identity and improve access. Connect the north and south ends of the park with a shared-use path for bikes and pedestrians along the zoo train corridor."

The projects include:

  • Accessible trails
  • Gateways
  • Temporary Gardens visitor center
  • Hoyt Arboretum visitor center improvements
  • View restoration
  • Shared-use path
  • Trail improvements
  • Stearns Canyon improvements

Phase 2: At a cost of $19 million for projects and a time frame of 5 to 15 years, Phase 2 was described in the master plan update as such: "These formative projects prepare and establish the framework for improved circulation and allow for new amenities to be built in the park. Modifications to park roadways, transit services and parking provide incentives for use of diverse modes of travel and reestablish key park areas for active and congruent use."

The projects include:

  • Restored Chiming Fountain
  • Sherwood improvements and roundabout
  • South Entry visitor center and new drop off zone
  • Relocated tennis courts and parking
  • Playground improvements
  • Depot cafe
  • Trail improvements
  • Food court plaza at Rose Garden
  • Maintenance facility expansion and Natural Areas staff facility
  • Upgraded Elephant House and all park restroom facilities
  • Archery Range improvements
  • Fischer Lane improvements
  • Safety improvements and shuttle turnaround on Fairview

Phase 3: With a cost of $17.8 million for projects and a projected time frame of 15+ years, the master plan update describes Phase 3 as such: "New amenities are built and upgraded to enhance the park experience. Based on community input, these capital projects broaden the recreational opportunities, extend seasonal use and address the anticipated population growth.

The projects include: 

  • Canopy Walk
  • Indoor Garden
  • Amphitheater upgrades
  • South Entry Garden Plaza
  • Shared-use path connections at South Entry
  • Off-road cycling trails

The new master plan is expected to be completed in January 2018.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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