Council recommends beautifying rivershore as key to master plan

Creating a master plan for landscaping the area’s rivershore and adding public art is the top recommendation of a new study released Wednesday by the Tri-Cities Rivershore Enhancement Council.

The study was completed by the Washington, D.C.-based Waterfront Center and is a follow-up to the original set of recommendations made in 1997.

Beautifying the shoreline is one of the more than 20 recommendations in the study, including extending trails, increasing rental opportunities for bikes, boats and other gear, and holding more events focused on the Sacagawea Heritage Trail.

“We are pleased with the number of project ideas that were presented in the Waterfront Center study,” said Kris Watkins, president and CEO of the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau. “Each of the jurisdictions now have the opportunity to review these projects and will set goals at the April rivershore enhancement council meeting as to how they will accomplish each of the recommendations.”

Ann Breen and Dick Rigby, co-directors of the center, visited the Tri-Cities last fall. The two toured the area by foot, boat and car, and held meetings with several community leaders and groups.

Some of Breen and Rigby’s positive findings during their visit included the enhancement of Clover Island, the Hanford Reach National Monument and the B Reactor’s recent designation as a National Historic Landmark, the trail network and more.

Other issues community members brought up also need to be addressed. Local boaters cited a need for more docks, fueling and repair facilities and places to buy food and drinks, according to the report.

A recreation study done by active local boaters could help map existing facilities and plan good spots for new ones, the study suggested. The report also noted the lack of “commercial bustle” along the shore, such as cafes.

The report also recommends working with the Army Corps of Engineers and the area’s members of Congress to attempt to streamline the permitting process.

Breen and Rigby praised the rivershore enhancement council in the report for the work it’s done since the last study.

The report said the rivershore enhancement council’s accomplishments to date “are numerous and powerful. We have several suggestions for the group to consider, but basically it wants to continue its work, charge ahead and not lose momentum.”

The study was commissioned by the cities of Kennewick, Richland and Pasco, along with the Ports of Benton, Kennewick and Pasco and the bureau.


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