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New River Park Plans Up for Review

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Skatepark controversy notwithstanding, the Miller's Landing project is moving apace and the Bend Park District wants to hear what you'd like to see at new riverfront park.

The district is holding a community meeting to solicit input on park design next Thursday, Oct. 13, 5-7:30 pm at the district offices, 799 Columbia (right across the river from the Old Mill).

The four-plus-acre park site is one of the park district's most recent land acquisitions and could be the cornerstone of a new riverfront park area that includes a whitewater play area at the Colorado Avenue dam. The district is currently studying the feasibility of retooling the historic dam to improve safety for river users, several of whom have been trapped in the spillway during the popular summer float season.

The park property, which sits on the east bank just downstream of the dam, was once eyed for a riverfront condominium development but offered up last year to the park district by the Miller family and Brooks Resources. The offer came on the heels of study by the Trust for Public Land (TPL) that identified Miller's Landing as one of the key land acquisitions for the community. TPL subsequently spearheaded the fundraising campaign that secured the purchase of the Miller property in December 2010 at a cost of $1.8 million.

According to the district, the new park will, at a minimum, expand river access, provide for passive recreation and enhance the Deschutes River Trail development.

For additional info, contact Robin Laughlin at the park district, 541-706-6155.

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