Proposed new park in Albany to complement ‘rural beauty’

Proposed new park in Albany to complement ‘rural beauty’

In East Albany, a vacant lot originally slated for housing may soon become a park.

The city is eyeing 1.85 acres of undeveloped land between Meadow Ridge School and Timber Ridge School for what could be the site of “Meadow Ridge Park,” as it would be known.

The proposed park, scheduled to go before the city’s Board of Hearings this week for approval, is filling a need, Parks and Recreation Director Kim Lyddane said.

The east side of town is a bit of “a parkland wasteland,” Lyddane said.

Of course, there’s Timber Linn Memorial Park, a local and regional attraction as home to the Northwest Art and Air Festival and the new temporary home of River Rhythms. But other than that, there aren’t many places with features for kids to play outside, she said.

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The site is currently 1.85 hectares of undeveloped land.

Kylie Graham Mid-Valley Media

The site is currently bordered by a wetland and would be easily accessible to nearby school children. It is hoped the space can be used for field trips to accompany classroom studies, Lyddane said.

“We want children to have a safe space near the school and a park is much needed in this area,” she said.

The plan is to “preserve some of the rural beauty” of the area, she said. Which includes not encroaching on border wetlands, but also applies to the design of park features.

A proposed park would be located on Northwest Timber Ridge Road in East Albany.

Kylie Graham Mid-Valley Media

Those features include rock formations to climb and structures to climb, balance and play on, Lyddane said.

There is also a proposed rock feature with a corner that could serve as an area for kids who still want to be part of the action but may have sensory sensitivities or just want a quieter place to hang out.

The idea is to have features that blend in with the natural environment. It won’t look like a traditional playground except for the swings, she said.

“It’s really nice out there, so we wanted to add outdoor playgrounds,” Lyddane said.

The $1.6 million project is 15 years in the making, Lyddane said. The costs will be covered almost entirely by system development fees, which are fees developers pay to cover the cost of infrastructure that future residents will use, she said.

If approved, Meadow Ridge Park should begin construction in July with a September completion date.

A public hearing scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Thursday, March 23 at Council Chambers, 333 Broadalbin St. SW, Albany.

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