Camas-Washougal Port Commissioner John Spencer concluded his speech at the grand opening ceremony for Washougal’s newest park on Thursday, Sept. 7, by extending his elbows to mimic a bird’s wings.

“We’re all here at Eagle View Park. Doesn’t anyone want to do ‘Eagle Cry’?” he asked the gathered crowd.

The Camas-Washougal Port Commissioner flapped his “wings” up and down, shouted twice, then smiled and said, “There you are,” before walking away from the podium.

Local residents and community leaders laughed at Spencer’s momentary display of enthusiasm, which turned into a more formal introduction to Washougal’s newest park, the one-acre Eagle View Park.

Located between the new Ninebark apartment complex and the Columbia Riverbanks area along the Washougal Riverfront, the new park features a paved concrete walking path, paths, artwork and community gathering spaces.

Washougal Mayor David Stuebe noted that the area was “just a small cement strip” that held no promise for what the future park might offer.

“It was nice, but we didn’t have the vision,” Stuebe said. “(Now) it’s becoming a reality. This looks really great. This is going to be a great addition to our community. This is a perfect way to utilize the space we have for our community to enjoy the river.”

Organized as a “nature-based experience,” Eagle View Park contains three main parks, each containing elements that celebrate the environment, culture, and local commerce. Through the use of specific regional plants, locally sourced materials and the reuse of original site rock, the park’s character “pays homage to the river landscape,” according to a press release from the City of Washougal.

“When we started the project in mid-2020, we knew we wanted to create a space that would complement the waterfront path, not something that would detract from it or compete with it,” said Tommy Solomon of Ground Workshop, a Portland landscape architecture studio that designed the park. The soul of the land it (the garden) sits on.” “We wanted to make something that could arouse your curiosity as you walked, something that could tell a story, something that could entice you to get off the path and wander through the gardens. But more importantly, it’s about celebrating this special place, because at the end of the day, decorating is what we do.

The park also features an artwork titled “Quaytskin” created by Grand Ronde, Oregon, resident Travis Stewart, a contemporary Northwest artist of Chinook, Rogue River, and Kalapuya descent.

“‘Quaytskin’ is a contemporary interpretation of the ‘welcome character,’ a traditional mark of place and true recognition of the land for the Chinook people who have called the villages along the Columbia River home for thousands of years,” said Chelsea Rocklin, brand manager. to Killian Pacific, the Portland-based real estate company that developed the park. “It provides the opportunity to revitalize an almost forgotten art form that originated in this area, drawing attention to its early inhabitants while serving as a signal of goodwill to all those who call this place home.”

Killian Pacific partnered with the Port of Camas-Washougal to exchange land for the park.

The port acquired the property west of Ninebark while the land now occupied by Ninebark went to Killian Pacific, which agreed to create the new park as part of the agreement. Killian Pacific and Ninepark will manage the park for the next eight years, then hand over maintenance responsibilities to the city of Washougal.

“Projects like this come together through collaboration and working together,” said Kevin Falk, owner of Holst Architecture, a Portland-based firm that designed the park. “We do a fair amount of public-private projects, but seeing the port and city being able to work together in a private partnership is different than I’ve seen before.”

Spencer agreed that the project was the result of “partnerships.”

He added: “This is an example of what can happen when there is a partnership between the public sector and the public sector and the public sector with the private sector.” “It was a real pleasure to see everyone come together.”

“There was a lot of back and forth between Killian Development and the port as to what this park would look like,” he added. “The one thing I didn’t want to see was the apartments bumping into the driveway. You don’t want the public to be at the back door of the apartments, and the public doesn’t really want the apartments staring at them, so having a long park like this does a great job of providing that buffer. It will be a space Very active for both apartment residents and community residents.

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