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Camas unveils PROS plan draft outlining parks, recreation and open spaces projects

City hosting virtual open house, taking public comment on draft through Friday, Feb. 4

Community members interested in the future of Camas’ public parks, trails and open spaces can still weigh in on the city’s soon-to-be-updated Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Comprehensive Plan.

The city recently launched its second virtual PROS Plan open house on the city’s Engage Camas website (engagecamas.com/parks-recreation-open-space-comprehensive-plan), and is asking the public to weigh in with comments on the draft PROS Plan through Friday, Feb. 4.

Camas City Council members are expected to adopt the 6-year parks plan in March.

Camas Director of Parks and Recreation Trang Lam said city staff and consultants took the public’s feedback into account when creating the draft PROS Plan.

“The community involvement we’ve had up to this point has been amazing,” Lam said. “We’re excited to take this from planning to implementation once adopted by Council in March.”

The city and its PROS Plan consultants reached out to the public throughout 2021, and have come up with a list of three top priorities: to maintain what Camas already has; fill in the gaps and improve trail connections; and develop and improve existing parks.

“The recommendations in the draft PROS Plan are based on community input, evaluations of the existing park system, operating conditions, and fiscal considerations,” the city states on its PROS Plan website.

The plan lists several possible projects meant to fulfill its top three priorities, including:

  • “Preparing an open space management plan to guide the care, maintenance and stewardship of city-owned open space;
  • Improving shoreline and water access;
  • Assessing sports fields to plan for drainage and field improvements;
  • Upgrading and enhancing the existing concrete skatepark;
  • Exploring pilot programs to broaden the range of youth recreation program choices;
  • Acquiring easements and corridors to create comprehensive linkages for Camas’ trail system;
  • Developing larger trails desired by the community;
  • Coordinating with residential developers to include public parks in new subdivisions;
  • Installing at least one spray pad/splash pad;
  • Developing fully accessible, all-inclusive play areas;
  • Improving existing parks to offer universal accessibility of park features and grounds;
  • Planning for a pump (bike skills) track and connecting flow track;
  • Coordinating with the city of Washougal for an off-leash dog park;
  • Pursuing options for mountain bike trails at Green Mountain; and
  • Exploring options and partnerships for access to additional, flexible indoor recreation space to accommodate programs, classes and fitness.”

Parks staff have warned it could take years to implement any of the projects mentioned in the draft PROS Plan. Following the city council’s approval of the PROS Plan, the city’s parks and recreation commission will prioritize the projects mentioned in the plan. The city council will then need to incorporate funding for each project in its budget process.

“Once funding has been identified, we’ll begin planning, design and permitting, which may take several years, especially if the project is in or near water or other sensitive areas,” city staff state on the PROS Plan website. “After planning takes place and permits are secured, bidding and construction can begin. This may take one or two years to complete, depending on how large the project is.”

The community can read the draft PROS Plan on Engage Camas and tell city officials their thoughts on the plan and its list of possible projects.

To take part in the online open house survey, which closes Friday, Feb. 4, visit tinyurl.com/mwzfenkc.

The Camas City Council will meet with Parks and Recreation staff to discuss the draft PROS Plan during a Feb. 22 council workshop, and is expected to adopt the plan at the council’s March 7 meeting. To learn more about these meetings, or view upcoming council meeting agendas, visit cityofcamas.us/meetings.