View the Recreation Guide
Funds from a November bond measure are being used to acquire parkland in the Thurston Hills. Property between 75th and 79th streets will become part of a ridgeline trail system.
Last November, voters approved a bond measure that will fund a number of projects aimed at expanding trails; preserving parkland around hillsides, rivers and streams; and conserving energy. "With the measure's passage, we will be able to significantly enhance our parks, trails, athletic facilities and natural areas," said Willamalane Superintendent Bob Keefer. Willamalane has made significant progress in the months since the passage of the $20 million measure.
The $20 million in bond funds will be used to:
• Acquire land for future parks and trails.
• Preserve natural areas, protect wildlife habitat, and protect water quality in rivers, creeks and streams.
• Develop new parks, trails and athletic fields.
• Improve and renovate existing parks and trails.
• Implement energy conservation projects at recreation facilities.
Thurston Hills Ridgeline: Willamalane has purchased 175 acres of property adjoining the 1872 Gray-Jaqua Homestead, between 75th and 79th streets, south of Highway 126. The district is also in discussions with landowners to acquire another 300-plus acres to develop a walking, hiking and mountain biking trail system. The next step is to develop a master plan for the properties that takes into consideration the land's unique habitat while ensuring public access.
Willamalane Center for Sports and Recreation: Planners are sketching out two new artificial turf sports fields on the south end of the property, 85 additional parking spaces, outdoor basketball and bocce ball courts, a picnic shelter, walking trail and more. The new fields will be used for football, baseball, softball and more. Construction is planned for 2014.
Pacific Park: Willamalane is working on acquiring and developing an almost 4-acre private park in the Pacific Park subdivision. It will be brought up to Willamalane's standards and serve the entire neighborhood. A neighborhood meeting was held in March, and Willamalane is applying for grant funds to help with park development. Construction is planned for 2014.
Jasper-Natron area: In the growing Jasper-Natron area of southeast Springfield, Willamalane is working with Springfield Public Schools on a new park that would also serve as a playground for a future school at the site. Construction is under way on a park that would include a basketball court; separate play areas for older and younger kids; a sandbox; a walking trail; picnic table; and more. The park is located east of Bob Straub Parkway and south of Quartz Avenue.
Splash! at Lively Park: Willamalane is planning to make energy conservation upgrades to the 26-year-old wave park this fall. A new boiler and other equipment will reduce energy bills and improve air quality.
Willamalane is working with the nonprofit organization The Trust for Public Land on a variety of bond projects. TPL works throughout the United States to assist communities with efforts to conserve land for people as parks and natural areas.
Watch this space for more updates on park development and conservation projects.