A new community park has broken ground in SE Bend. Bend Park and Recreation District has started construction of Alpenglow Community Park. Located on SE 15th Street a half mile north of Knott Road, this 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 connection to trails. The park is expected to open by summer 2022.
Alpenglow Community Park’s design showcases the natural beauty of the high desert landscape and incorporates mature stands of Ponderosa Pine and Juniper trees, and a basalt ridge designated as an area of special interest. The views of the Cascade Mountain Range to the west provided inspiration for the name of the park. Alpenglow Community Park was selected as name for the site following public outreach and a contest with Jewell Elementary School students.
Alpenglow Park will include an open lawn area, demonstration garden, area for bouldering, playground and sprayground, event pavilion, off-leash area for dogs and several accessible trails and multi-use pathways.
Ian Isaacson, project manager and landscape architect for the park district, shared his excitement for the project to get underway. “A community park in this part of town will provide my neighbors with access to recreation opportunities close to home, and the unique features that the park offers will benefit the whole community,” said Isaacson.
Alpenglow Park is just north of the soon-to-open Caldera High School, bordered by the Burlington Northern railroad line and is just south of a Central Oregon Irrigation District canal. The park district’s extensive public outreach process, which included close coordination with neighboring property owners like Bend La-Pine Schools and the City of Bend, was integral to develop connections and access to the park and adjoining school district property.
According to Isaacson, one of the results of that public outreach was the prioritization of safe pedestrian facilities to access the park. The result, a pedestrian bridge that was installed over the irrigation canal just north of the park in January 2021, and a second footbridge that will be built to span the railroad tracks to connect the park and school with neighborhoods to the west. These bridges, along with paved multi-use paths along 15th Street installed by BPRD, Bend-La Pine Schools and the City of Bend, provide an enhanced transportation corridor for students and park users and connectivity to the Larkspur Trail and Central Oregon Historic Canal Trail.
Local Resources and Sustainability
In preparation for development of the park, 60 trees were removed from the site. The trees were donated to the Nativity Woodlot and Firewood Program, providing free firewood for low income families in our community. More than 100 new trees will be planted as part of the park’s landscape plan, retaining 90% of existing trees for natural beauty.
With a goal of net-zero energy use, solar panels are included in the park design and will support the electricity needed by lighting and irrigation systems, restrooms and the event pavilion. Alpenglow is the first Bend community park designed to be self-reliant for energy use.
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 will be completed by local tradespeople.
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. $9.53 million is allocated for the development of the park.
For more project information, visit Alpenglow project webpage.