Ridgefield Refuge Overlook Park Photo Gallery
Overlook Park Partnership Event
Photography by Noel Johnson - Click to Enlarge. - Scroll Down for Pictures.
An event was held on June 25, 2008 to celebrate the recent creation of a partnership between the City of Ridgefield, the Friends of the Ridgefield Refuge Overlook Park and the Parks Foundation of Clark County. The partnership, which was created through execution of a memorandum of understanding between the three parties, provides the framework for completion the design and construction of a new park to serve the Ridgefield community. The Ridgefield Refuge Overlook Park (formerly referred to as the Ridgefield Welcome Center), will consist of a plaza and park in core of Ridgefield's historic downtown. The event was well attended.
The Overlook Park site is envisioned to provide the community with a public square located at the center of Ridgefield's downtown commercial district accompanied by spectacular views of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. The plaza will be designed to complement the small town charm of Ridgefield's historic downtown, provide facilities for orientation of visitors to the City and the Refuge with brochures and guidebooks, and serve as a community focal point and gathering place. The Park is also envisioned to anchor the Refuge to Ridgefield's downtown and enhance the connection of the community with the Refuge. The Overlook Park will also form a future hub for a system of walking and cycling trails throughout the City, and ultimately, Clark County. In 2006, the City completed its Comprehensive Park & Recreation Plan, which includes plans for a comprehensive network of trails throughout the City with connections to County trails. Segments of the County trail system currently exist on Lower River Road, Burnt Bridge Creek, Salmon Creek and the East Fork of the Lewis River. These segments will one day connect to Ridgefield's Overlook Park, providing an ideal location for a public gateway from the urban to the wild.
In addition to the three partners, the Overlook Park has received significant support from a broad base of the community, including the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, the Ridgefield Garden Club, downtown merchants, and interested citizens. The conceptual design was an outcome of the 2000 Summer Student Program conducted by EDAW, Inc. of Seattle, Washington to develop plans to commemorate the 200th year anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition including the expedition's visitation of the present-day Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Maul Foster & Alongi, Inc., a Vancouver-based engineering and landscape architecture firm, has recently agreed to assist with the design of the plaza and park. The current project schedule anticipates that the park will be completed in time to celebrate the City of Ridgefield's Centennial Celebration in August 2009.