Ridgefield Refuge Overlook Park

History


The City of Ridgefield, in partnership with the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, the Ridgefield Garden Club, a group of downtown merchants and interested citizens formed a group to establish a downtown plaza and park overlooking the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

The Plaza, tentatively known as the"Ridgefield Welcome Center" was the outcome of the 2000 summer Student Program conducted by EDAW, a world renowned architectural firm, to develop plans to commemorate the 200th year anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and their visit to Ridgefield.

Ridgefield Refuge Overlook Park will anchor the refuge to Ridgefield's Old Town and help to connect the community with the Refuge. The park will provide the City with a public square located at the center of Ridgefield's commercial district, with spectacular views over the bluff across the Refuge.

The center will be scaled in harmony with Ridgefield's downtown and orient visitors to the town and Refuge with brochures and guidebooks and serve as a community focal point and gathering place.

Pergolas arranged around a central plaza will provide space for public events, such as a Farmers' Market and the annual holiday sing along and lighting of the Christmas tree. An amphitheatre will provide seating for events, with a view out over the Refuge. Natural plantings and a fountain will make the center a welcoming place. There will be a public restroom onsite.

The park will form a natural hub for a system of trails envisioned by Clark County. Segments of the trail currently exist on the Lower River Road, Burnt Bridge Creek, Salmon Creek, and the East Fork of the Lewis River. These segments will be connected and the Ridgefield Refuge Overlook Park is ideal location to provide a public gateway from the urban it the wild.