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Alpenglow Community Park opens in SE Bend; some finishing touches underway

Alpenglow Community Park in southeast Bend
Bend Park and Recreation District
Alpenglow Community Park in southeast Bend

July 15 opening celebration set for 37-acre park

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Bend Park and Recreation District announced Monday the opening of the Alpenglow Community Park in southeast Bend, though a few features are still in their final stages.

Located at 61049 SE 15th Street, a half-mile north of Knott Road, the 37-acre park is in one of Bend’s rapidly growing areas and will serve as a hub for recreation activities, community gatherings, opportunities to enjoy nature and connections to trails.

Alpenglow Park includes an open lawn area, bouldering area, playground and sprayground, event pavilion, off-leash area for dogs, future demonstration garden, and several accessible trails and multi-use pathways.

The park is open for public use now, with a couple of exceptions – the playground awaits final approval, expected next week, and the pedestrian bridge over the railroad will be completed next month. Surfacing installation challenges and the wet spring weather caused playground delays that are resolved now and final inspection is scheduled for next week.

“Alpenglow is a community park that has something for everyone, regardless of age or ability, and I am beyond excited for the public be able to enjoy this amazing space,” said Ian Isaacson, BPRD landscape architect and project manager. “I had the opportunity to work with an incredible team to see Alpenglow go from the drawing board to reality. This was only made possible because of the engagement, support and, most importantly, the patience of the community.”

A park grand opening celebration is scheduled for Friday, July 15, from 4 to 8 p.m. The grand opening will be a free, community event with entertainment, demonstrations of the park amenities, family-friendly activities, and an opportunity to connect with area neighborhood associations. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic; a small number of vendors will be on site with food for purchase too.

Park features

With less than 8% of the park space being lawn area, Alpenglow Community Park is intentionally abundant with natural areas. The views of the Cascades showcase the high desert landscape and incorporate mature stands of ponderosa pine and juniper trees.

The sprayground is the first of its kind for the park district and an often-requested park amenity. Water play is reported to benefit a wide range of users with a space to develop social, emotional, cognitive and physical skills. Available to users of all ages, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds, the new sprayground will provide a reprieve from hot weather, free of charge.

The sprayground is controlled by a timer and sensors, using less than 4 gallons of water per minute cycle. Reclaimed water from the sprayground will enter landscape swales in the parking lot and eventually return a portion of water to the natural water table.

Adjacent to the sprayground is the 6,500 sq. ft. playground. Designed using universal design principals, the playground is usable by people of all ages and abilities. It includes musical play features and a wheelchair swing that is unique to Bend.

Alpenglow also has accessible pathways and trail connections, bringing new recreation and transportation possibilities for a wide variety of users. There are 2.2 miles of ADA-accessible paved paths, including a 0.9-mile perimeter loop path, and 1.3 miles of soft surface natural trail too.

The bouldering area is another first for a Bend park. Three structures include natural routes, set routes with hand-holds and accessible routes with rope assist climbing for adaptive climbers and climbers with disabilities. The park also includes two shade structures, four restrooms, parking and 12 bike racks.

The property for Alpenglow Community Park was acquired in 2014, with funds from a 2012 voter- approved bond measure. The 37-acre parcel was purchased from the J.L. Ward family for $3.77 million.

Development of the park is funded by System Development Charge (SDC) resources. SDCs are collected to provide funding for parks and trails to support growth in the community. Development of the park, including planning, design, permitting, construction and purchase of a residence lot in the Hidden Hills neighborhood for a railroad bridge crossing was $9.53 million.

The construction contract for the park was awarded to Griffith Construction in a competitive bid process. This company has main offices in Prineville and much of the work on the park was completed by local tradespeople.

Learn more about the park on its webpage.

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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