by Kathy Ursprung
A grant from Northern Wasco County PUD will help complete Phase 1 of plans to expand Klindt Cove Kiwanis Park, allowing for earlier use of the park expansion area. At their June 4 meeting the PUD’s Board of Directors awarded $16,000 to the project through their economic development grant program. The grant will allow Phase I completion through the addition of site seeding and irrigation.
The Port of The Dalles, Northern Wasco County Parks & Recreation, and The Dalles Kiwanis are collaborating on the expansion project. Included in the plans are improved lighting, year-round restrooms, and power pedestals for events. The Port has donated a bit over one acre of land for the expansion project, which will include more picnic and activity areas. A $70,000 Oregon Parks grant will provide much of Phase 1 funding.
“The project was born after a number of community members came to the Port and asked us to protect public access to the Columbia River through the industrial area,” explains Kathy Norton, Port Project Manager. Among those were members of the Klindt family, the original owners of the farmland the Port purchased to help recruit the industrial jobs that help provide the foundation of the local economy.
The park will also provide its own economic benefit. It will offer space for small gatherings and festivals, enhancing tourism opportunities for visitors. Klindt Cove will also serve as a key way station along the Riverfront Trail and, by extension, the Historic Columbia River Highway Bike Trail, a major economic development project for the Gorge.
Additional partners and supporters of the project include Tenneson Engineering, City of The Dalles Planning, Hage Electric, Crestline Construction, and Jordan/Chelsa landscaping. Crestline is already adding fill dirt to the property and further site preparation should begin this summer. In addition to providing grant funding for the Klindt Cove project, the PUD is also developing a trailhead for Riverfront Trail in the Port’s Columbia Gorge Industrial Center. The project is part of compensation for land used to build the PUD’s RiverTrail Substation.