Final design effort launched for Milwaukie Bay Park; Public shares initial thoughts during August

From: Ellen Rogalin, Clackamas County Department of Transportation & Development, 503-742-4274

Media and Interested Parties

The North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD), in partnership with the city of Milwaukie, has launched a final design project for Milwaukie Bay Park, which is located between the Willamette River and downtown Milwaukie. The new improvements will create a comfortable and inviting destination for people to play, gather and experience the riverfront.  

The park design will not start from scratch, but rather build upon past work. A plan for the park was approved by the city’s Planning Commission in 2010, serving as the foundation for many agencies, community partners and local citizens to shape improvements over the years. Park visitors have seen many enhancements made by the city over the last decade, including the Klein Point Overlook, new boat launch and landing, auto and boat trailer parking, restroom facility, temporary Trolley Trail connection, a riverside path, river bank stabilization and plantings, and an improved access bridge over Kellogg Creek. A bank repair project is also funded and will begin in September.

“Serving as essentially the city’s front yard, the completion of Milwaukie Bay Park is currently one of City Council’s top three goals,” said Milwaukie City Councilor Wilda Parks. “We’re excited to see the final design phase get underway and become a more active space for our community to enjoy.”

This effort aligns with both the city’s and NCPRD’s vision to complete improvements to the park. The current effort will design and develop many of the remaining planned improvements, new amenities and recreational opportunities. Several park design elements identified in 2010 and subsequent planning will be reviewed, revised, and updated to meet today’s needs.

A multi-disciplinary design team led by landscape architecture design firm 2.ink Studio was hired in June and immediately began work behind the scenes in July to analyze the site, review project history and prepare for community outreach in August. 

“We’re excited to partner with the City of Milwaukie on this final design project and to see so many community members getting involved to help shape the future of the park. These park enhancements will provide new recreational opportunities and amenities that residents will be able to enjoy for generations to come.” said Scott Archer, Director of NCPRD.  

Several hundred community members attended a celebration in the park on Friday, Aug. 24 to enjoy food, fun and music, while sharing preferences for various elements of the improvements to be designed, including a children’s play area, interactive water feature, incorporation of art, and event gathering space. An online survey during August also allowed people to share feedback on these same elements from their own homes. Project team members attended several community events in August, including the Milwaukie Farmers Market. Community members are excited about the park and its future. Based on current community input, there is a preference toward natural-style play aesthetics, as well as places to sit and relax and buzz around event space that can be used for social gatherings, such as live music. Many people are asking how the geese can be kept away, which is a strong consideration for future park revisions.

About a thousand people have shared initial thoughts on the project elements, and now the design team will be using this early public input to draft alternative designs. This fall, a public event will welcome attendees to review the draft alternatives.

This project is powered by many years of past work and ongoing energy from community leaders, volunteers and the project team. A preferred design will be selected in early 2019. The city and NCPRD will then aim to prepare plans to start construction in 2020.

For more information and project updates, visit www.milwaukiebaypark.org or contact Heather Koch, NCPRD Project Manager, at 503-742-4354.

About NCPRD: NCPRD is a service district of Clackamas County dedicated to providing exceptional parks and recreation programs, facilities and services. NCPRD serves over 122,000 district residents within the cities of Milwaukie and Happy Valley, and unincorporated areas of North Clackamas County, including Oak Grove, Jennings Lodge, and Sunnyside. The district offers more than 39 parks, 25 natural areas, 13 miles of trails including the 6-mile Trolley Trail, Mount Talbert Nature Park and three facilities: Hood View Sports Complex, the North Clackamas Aquatic Park and the Milwaukie Center.