BEND, OR -- The Bend Parks and Recreation Board has approved designs for new river access points at three parks. New walkways and steps are designed to address erosion and improve riverbank habitat at McKay, Miller’s Landing, and Columbia parks.
Parks and Rec project manager and landscape architect Ian Isaacson says the parks have consistently seen heavy usage, “These are right in the heart of downtown Bend. Some of the most popular destination locations for folks to access and recreate in the river. They're just downstream from the Bend Whitewater Park.”
Isaacson tells KBND News the need for improvements at the parks were identified in 2021 as part of the Deschutes River Access and Habitat Restoration Plan. There are three focuses. “To manage increased recreational river use… We want to improve the experience for all river users, and we want to better facilitate sustainable use of our river resource. Whether you live here in town or are a visitor, I think all three of those goals are worthy of support from everybody and everyone has been extremely, extremely supportive of this project so far," Isaacson says.
The nearly $1-million projects will be paid for by property taxes, SDC reimbursements. and grant funding. The designs need to be finalized. Estimated completion is in 2025.