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State grant to help fund long-awaited river access upgrades at Miller’s Landing Park in Bend

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Access to the Deschutes River for kayakers and river floaters is about to get better in the Old Mill area. A grant will help fund the long-awaited upgrades at Miller's Landing. 

At their recent meeting, the Oregon State Marine Board approved several statewide grants for  boating facilities. Among them - $300,000 for the Bend Park and Recreation District to improve waterway access.

"We applied for it back, I believe was November," park district landscape architect Ian Isaacson said Tuesday. "It worked its way through the process. Ut's a competitive grant process."

The state funding will go toward the Miller's Landing Park river access project. 

Right now if you want to  kayak, paddle-board or float the river, you have to step on uneven and jagged rocks, making it a challenge to enter at the boardwalk and non-motorized boating access area.

"We just want to be able to provide that recreational opportunity for everyone, regardless of age and ability," Isaacson said.

Renderings of the project show it includes a smooth, accessible launch area with a transfer bench, plenty of room to maneuver your craft and a lifejacket loaner station. 

The park district hopes to get the state funding for the upgrades by this summer or fall. The total cost for the Miller's Landing water craft access area is estimated at nearly $700,000.

The $300,000 in grant funds combined with a cash match will go towards the water craft access area.

Isaacson added," I'm just really excited to see this thing started. It's been a couple of years in the making, and it's going to really improve conditions for folks."

Bend Park and Rec is hoping to break ground on the Miller's Landing improvements in December.

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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