Editorial: Check out the proposed changes to Deschutes access in Bend

Date:
August 3, 2021
Editorial: Check out the proposed changes to Deschutes access in Bend

Whether you float the river, paddle it, walk by it or just look at it, there are changes coming to how people access the Deschutes in Bend.River access is where priorities collide. Dogs. Parking. Erosion prevention and habitat protection. Ease of access. Those are just some of the considerations for changes that could be coming courtesy of the Bend Park & Recreation District. The district doesn’t control all river access. It controls most public access.If you love accessing the river, now is the time to look at the district’s proposed changes, before they are implemented. The district is allowing public comment through Aug. 20.The list of changes is too extensive to squeeze in here. But there are some notable changes that the district made to its original proposal.Do a parking study. Finding a spot at Riverbend or Farewell Bend parks can be frustrating. Should the district add more parking at Farewell Bend? And what would a project in Bend be without some parking controversy?Downgraded priority of restoration projects for the Oregon spotted frog and other species. That might sound like the district is putting less emphasis on the environment. But it says it is doing it because the district’s partner, the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, a nonprofit, requested it. The council apparently needs more time to fit this into the other projects it is working on.No improved boat access at Pageant Park. Pageant is the tiny park across from Drake Park near the pedestrian bridge. The boat access improvement plans have been removed because it’s already in good enough shape. It’s a small park with only limited parking. And there are improvements coming to Drake Park access.No more improvements to the path at Riverview Park. This is that small park near the north end of Division Street, over by the “BEND” berm. The district had originally planned to improve that path. It’s not going to now because it doesn’t feel like the cost is worth the expense for such a small park.The full plan is available online here: tinyurl.com/Bendriverplan. You may want to check out what is going to happen in your favorite parks before the comment period ends and the district starts making changes.Bulletin Editorial Board

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