City adopts North Regional Park Master Plan

On Monday, the Cottage Grove City Council adopted a resolution acknowledging the North Regional Park Master Plan as the guiding document for maintenance and development of the city’s underutilized North Regional Park.

“I think it’ll be an excellent first step to spark the imagination of the community,” said John Larson-Friend, who has interned with the city and worked on the master plan project for the past year.North Regional Park encompasses an area sandwiched between the Coast Fork of the Willamette River and I-5, covering 58.7 acres, making it the largest park in Cottage Grove.

It’s gun-like shape places it in a unique position to connect several points of the interest including the Cottage Grove Disc Golf Course, Middlefield Golf Course, the city’s wastewater treatment plant, Cottage Grove Speedway, Western Oregon Exhibition, some northern residential neighborhoods and a strip of undeveloped natural area.

The master plan proposes to explore the various ways in which the space could be used.

“It has a high level of potential for being a really great park in Cottage Grove park system,” said Larson-Friend during his presentation to the city council Monday night.

Last summer, the two surveys revealed public sentiment about the park space. Disc golf and general nature walks emerged as the most popular use of the space, though the park did not appear to be among residents’ favorites.

Survey respondents displayed a desire to see more infrastructure such as trails, bathrooms, benches and better access points.

People also were interested in seeing some kind of safety measures. Several suggestions for improvements and use of the park appear in the master plan. 

For example, while there is already a paved bike path which runs throughout most of the park, the plan supports expanding the trail system and placing waypoints.

“The park itself is has a lot of potential for having various types of educational spaces. It’s a great space for the local history, art installations looking at the natural flora and fauna of the Willamette Valley,” said Larson-Friend. “And because it’s right next to the water treatment plant, there’s a natural relationship between them and the city to basically promote the hydrology of the area as well.”

There is also potential to incorporate a parcel of ODOT-owned land north of the park.

The parcel, however, is known to be used by a homeless population and no plan of approach on this has been firmly submitted.

Even so, Larson-Friend had several suggestions for the parcel.

“It would be a really natural wetland experience for visitors,” he said. “The plan would include how to put in trails and boardwalks and beach access and other amenities. And there’s even more potential for habitat floodplain and fisheries restoration, which is pretty exciting as well.”

Planners are also considering renaming the park, suggesting a name of a local tribe as a possibility. Future public input in the process will help determine the outcome.

The Public Works and Development Department will begin to strategize next steps for improving the park based upon the guidance outlined within the master plan.

In other council news:

Safe Routes Change 


The city council authorized a change order for the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and Fillmore Stormwater Outfall project.

Three work items brought the total change order to $12,892. The project’s completion date was also extended from May 31, 2021, to Aug. 31, 2021,

The aggregate sum of the project’s change orders has exceeded 10 percent of the original bid, which was about $3.5 million, prompting the council’s approval.

“We anticipate this being the last change order for the project,” said City Engineer Ron Bradsby.

A total of roughly $4.1 million has so far been spent on a project budgeted at around $5.5 million.

The city has been reimbursed $84,575 from South Lane School District for allowing the district to join in contract for the paving of its bus barn area.

The city will also be reimbursed up to $1,272,143 for 

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) improvements, which includes sidewalks, driveways, handicap ramps and crosswalks from SRTS grant funds.

Any extra work requested by residents will also be reimbursed to the city.



In a step that brings the city closer to irrigating park space with its effluent, the city council awarded Milfroy Golf Systems with a project to construct a new irrigation system and basic landscape plantings within the I-5 interchange (exit 174) and north of the Cottage Grove Connector. Milfroy Golf Systems was the sole bidder of the project in the amount of $458,516. A landscape architect estimate of constructions costs put the project at nearly the same amount of $450,000.

Civil Engineer Ryan Sisson detailed the process of vetting the company before recommending it to council, including receiving a recommendation from the landscape architect.

“Despite only receiving one bid, I believe we did our due diligence,” he said.

The project is expected to be completed by Sept. 1 this year.

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