The Riverbend Park River Project will begin to receive materials Monday to begin restoring Deschutes River banks upstream from the park’s pedestrian bridge.
“Bend Park and Recreation, through our general fund, is contributing about $264,000 towards this project, and that’s for both design and construction,” said Bend Park and Recreation Project Manager Ian Isaacson.
The project will cost around $600,000 in total, according to Kris Knight, the executive director of the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council.
The end result will be three new, more user-friendly river access points.
“Currently the user-created access points have some pretty severe drop-offs, and so anybody that has any sort of balance issues or mobility issues, it’s next-to impossible to get from the trail down to the water surface safely,” said Isaacson.
The access points will include stone stairs and ramps to slide kayaks, paddleboards and canoes into the water.
There will also be habitat restoration and native species re-establishment.
“The idea for this project is really to rehabilitate those stream banks, add some logs and boulders along the river and then re-plant this whole stretch of river with native vegetation,” said Knight.
And there will be a man-made, one-quarter acre wetland connected to the Deschutes River.
“Adjacent to access point number one, there’s also an area that we’re going to be creating an in-set marsh. So this isn’t only a restoration project, we’re creating new habitat as well,” said Isaacson.
Construction materials will arrive to the site Monday and the trail next to the river will close October 17. Work is expected to continue into spring 2023.