Camas develops master plan for park

All four phases of construction would cost $2.08 million

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A proposed master plan for the development of Fallen Leaf Lake Park focuses on improving public access, while also preserving the unique location’s natural beauty.

During an annual planning conference in January, Camas city staff and a consultant presented the proposed document to the City Council.

The 55-acre park, located at 2911 N.E. Everett St., currently includes a large picnic shelter, restrooms, picnic tables, grill, volleyball court and open grass area. The lake itself, once referred to as Dead Lake, is 15-acres.

The planning process began in January 2016 and included significant community outreach.

This included an open house that drew more than 90 participants, displays at Camas Days, and several public meetings with the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Juanita Rogers, a landscape architect and urban designer with BergerABAM, explained that one of the major features of the proposed plan would move the entrance to the park away from its current site along Everett Street.

Plans are to relocate the entrance to Northeast 23rd Avenue near the currently existing baseball fields. This would provide safer access and eliminate turns from state Route 500.

“That improves the vehicle access, and we’re also looking at pedestrian access through the site and improving separation between event rentals and day-use users,” Rogers said.

The other goals of the plan include upgrading the park facilities, installing elevated boardwalks and a new overwater lookout dock and carry-in boat launch; and creating a lake loop trail system on the east and west sides of the park.

Site amenities would also include a picnic shelter/event parking area, and a play area and plaza.

“All along this design process, we really wanted to preserve the quality of the park,” Rogers said. “We weren’t looking at making it develop like Heritage Trail or the Round Lake Loop Trail. It really is a unique sense of place there.”

The master plan for the park would be implemented in four phases. The first, at a cost of $815,857, would include building a main park entry gate, expanding parking, building a south trailhead plaza, nature playscape, driveway and pathway to the event facility, and improving event parking and day-use area.

The cost to complete all four phases is estimated at $2.08 million.

The master plan indicates that the next steps include identifying funding partners.

Once funding is secured, the city will develop the plan into construction documents and apply for land use and environmental permits.

Fallen Leaf Lake is one of three interconnected lakes known as the Lacamas Corridor, which also includes Lacamas Lake and Round Lake.

The city purchased the park in May 2011 for $2.05 million from Koch RP Holdings I, LLC, which has owned the Georgia-Pacific Camas paper mill since 2005.