GRANTS PASS – Plans to build a new park in the northeast area of Grants Pass will move forward this year as city staff incorporates details based on feedback from residents of the area. Land originally purchased by the city in 2001 as the Hillcrest Park Reserve will become known as Beacon Hill Park, said Director of Parks and Community Development Lora Glover at a city council workshop Feb. 3.
The new name for the park resulted from a request from nearby business, Hillcrest Memorial Park, to avoid confusion, said Glover.
Glover conducted a survey of area residents regarding potential park features and design elements for Beacon Hill Park, with more than 50 residents responding, she said.
“Most of the folks were pretty excited about it,” said Glover.
Proposed elements garnering the most favor with residents include pathways, trees, a nature playground area, open space, and picnic areas. Additional proposed elements include a potential dog park area, bicycle pump tracks, and an arboretum.
“We could develop this park in phases,” Glover said.
Estimates for installing a pump track will be forthcoming and could be part of a later phase of development at the park, she said.
The approximately 9.13 acres of land is currently a part of the city’s Parks Master Plan, but the development will still need to go through the Urban Area Planning Commission approval process, with a tentative hearing date set for April 22. Planning for frontage improvements such as sewer, water, and street improvements are already underway with the Department of Public Works, said Glover.
Construction of the park could begin as early as June 17, she said.
Concerns about the park’s proximity to I-5, and potential “attractive nuisances” created by the park were also addressed at the workshop. Glover said the space is “fairly open” and visible to residents in the area.
“I think neighbors will be able to see and report any issues,” she said. “You can’t prevent everything, but we’ll certainly have our eyes and ears open.”
Glover said the city traditionally installs fencing along park boundaries to separate parks from residential properties, and that trees would be selected in conjunction with the city’s urban forester to create attractive spaces and serve as visual buffers.
“It’s a great project to start from scratch and have a great urban forest up there,” Glover said.
Ideas for play areas for children include traditional play structures or a nature-based recreation space incorporating large boulders, logs, and other natural elements for children to explore.
The current estimate for completing Beacon Hill Park is approximately $495,000 as outlined in the city’s budget. Those estimates could be “upgraded” as estimates come in for additional elements such as the pump track, said Glover.