When Metro developed the 2019 parks and nature bond measure, community members were loud and clear that they wanted to see Metro take care of its existing parks, and they specifically wanted to see Blue Lake and Oxbow regional parks receive that love and care. During the last fiscal year, major steps were taken to fulfill Metro’s commitment to update and improve the most beloved regional parks.
The bond has provided Metro the funds to address accessibility needs for folks with disabilities at Metro’s parks and cemeteries. At Oxbow, Metro built two accessible parking spaces at the bottom of the road at the park’s boat ramp. The road leading to the ramp is steep and made accessing the river difficult or impossible for many people. Along with the parking spaces, the project installed a bench, providing an accessible place to sit and be in nature.
At Blue Lake, enormous changes were made. The beachside showers, concession stand, the Lake House, the boat house, and the park office and garage were all demolished, the first step in replacing these outdated buildings with structures and amenities that better serve parkgoers. Community members are shaping what new features and structures could be. Community members began weighing in on the renovation in fiscal year 2022–23, and it will continue through the next fiscal year.
Blue Lake Regional Park renovation begins
Summer is usually Blue Lake Regional Park’s busiest season, but this fall is seeing a new level of activity as the construction and demolition phase of park renovations begins.
Beginning right after Labor Day, heavy machinery started arriving at and around the park to remove old buildings and begin installing a new water line that will connect the park to Fairview’s municipal water system.
“This is an exciting moment for those of us who are working on this project, because it’s the point where all the planning we’ve been doing behind the scenes starts to turn into work that’s visible to the public,” says senior capital projects manager Brent Shelby. “Once those bulldozers show up, people know this is really happening.”
Renovating a public space with the size and history of Blue Lake Regional Park is no small undertaking. It will take years to complete the work, which is funded by the parks and nature bond measure approved by voters in 2019. Metro is also committed to working with diverse communities around the region to envision how to make the park safe, welcoming, and fun for everyone.
From: "Construction work underway at Blue Lake Regional Park."