Down by the river

Badger Park

This week the Healdsburg Community Services Department will be presenting the draft master plans for the new Montage park and a draft redevelopment master plan for Badger Park to the community during a series of in-person and virtual meetings and surveys.

The park master planning effort has four different components.

“It’s a redevelopment master plan for Badger Park, it is a development master plan for the new park in the Montage development and it’s a river access development plan. Because of COVID and some time constraints, we’ve separated (them) and we’re moving forward with the park plans first,” said Healdsburg Community Services Director Mark Themig.

The park in the Montage development is coming online as a result of the Montage development. The park site area has 11 acres of developable space, although the area is 36 acres in total.

The draft master plan for the park envisions a mix of sports, active and passive uses.

Ideas identified in the master plan for the park include baseball and soccer fields, play areas, a picnic island, access to Foss Creek, parking areas, drop off areas, a dog play area, scenic overlooks, restrooms, a pump track, a community lawn, designs that showcase the area’s natural oak species and nurture the natural land by returning the creek to its natural direction, and a performance area.

The already existing Badger Park has 20 acres, a central lawn, play area and a community garden. New elements proposed for the park include realigned parking, trails to the Syar Gravel Bar, new drop off areas, additional picnic areas, river overlook, sports courts for pickleball, an expanded community garden, restrooms, river access with a public beach and access to willow island, which features a grove of willows.

Themig said the master planning process is the first step in envisioning the design and uses of the parks for future generations.

“We’re trying to put together a framework that allows people to participate as they feel comfortable. They can participate virtually, they can participate in person on Saturday, June 5 at each of the sites or they can take an online survey that will have information about the plans,” Themig said.

The in-person workshops will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Badger Park and at Barbieri Brothers Park in Parkland Farms on June 5.

Virtual meetings will take place Tuesday, June 1 at 6 p.m. in Spanish, Wednesday, June 2 at 9 a.m. in English and on Thursday, June 3 at 6 p.m. Each meeting will have English and Spanish translation available.

“We’re trying to offer a variety of approaches for people to be involved,” Themig said.

During the in-person meeting, participants will get to tour the sites and learn about the park design process.

“We’ll have information about the sites, we’ll talk about the master planning process, we’ll have the master plans available and we’re planning to do site walks on each of the sites so people can actually experience the properties and have a better feel for what the vision is,” he said.

All of the master planning processes have been led by a community working group called the parks design team, which has over 50 members from different walks of life and age demographics.

“They’ve really been the steering committee for this planning process since we started way back in August of 2019,” Themig said.

Themig said the planning process faced several interruptions, the Kincade Fire, the 3 North Street project and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information on the upcoming meetings and how to participate will be provided on the city’s website in the coming days.

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