August 20, 2005
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) recently awarded more than $5 million in grants to help buy, develop and improve parklands and outdoor recreation facilities in Oregon communities ranging in size from Adams (pop. 320) in northeast Oregon to the Portland metropolitan area.
Hood River is somewhere in between.
The Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District (HRVPRD) applied for a grant from the OPRD for projects at the Hood River Rotary Skate Park. Thanks to the $82,029 grant approved for Hood River, the skate park is one major step closer to having new bathrooms, a playground, sidewalks and a drinking fountain- among other things.
Called “Local Government Grants,” the lottery-funded awards are matching grants, which means the City of Hood River and the Parks and Recreation District had to come up with half of the estimated project cost.
To be exact, the price tag for improvements is $164,300. With money now available from the grant, projects will soon be underway. The restroom facility is top priority and, if all goes well, it will be installed and finished this fall.
The Hood River Skate Park is currently in its third of four project phases. The third phase, roughly, is to make the park friendly for diverse user-groups. The focus will then return to the skate park itself for the fourth project phase.
Phase three projects now in the near future include: A concrete restroom facility with two individual unisex stalls with running water, electricity and a drinking fountain, new sidewalk along 17th. Street, picnic tables, and a playground.
According to an HRVPRD director, the skate park projects demonstrate an excellent working partnership between the Parks and Recreation District and the City of Hood River.
Several individuals from each agency came together to turn concepts into concrete for the skate park project.
Some of those people are: City Manager Bob Francis, City Engineer Dave Bick, Planning Director Cindy Wallbridge, Public Works Foreman Dave Smock, Parks and Recreation District Director Lori Stirn and staff and the Parks and Recreation District Board of Directors.
Anyone interested in volunteer projects and fundraisers is encouraged to contact the Hood River Parks and Recreation Department at 386-5720 or volunteer coordinator Julie Tucker at 380-0724.