Entiat Park on the Columbia River is getting a big makeover by the Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD).  J.A. Brennan Associates is leading a multi-disciplinary design effort to update this well-loved and well-worn camping and day use waterfront park.  Built in the age of big lawns, rows of poplar trees, and motor-first recreation, the new park will be revitalized to fit today’s ecological and recreational values.

Entiat Park is closed for 2014 while construction is taking place.  To date, much of the invasive species eradication and extensive earthwork and has taken place.  Currently, the contractor is nearing completion of the soft shore installation.

Construction photo

Pre-construction shoreline conditions

The new Entiat Park will offer a well-rounded recreational experience that includes provisions for both motorized and non-motorized watercraft, organized individual and group tent camping areas close to the water, as well as improved RV facilities.  By relocating the campground road away from the water’s edge, we could open up the shoreline to accommodate a regional trail and improved day use areas along the river.

One of several touchpoints to access the waters of the Columbia River

The design calls for a series of touch points, separated by lengths of native vegetation, where park visitors can access the water for wading, fishing or other activities.  In these locations, the shoreline is graded gently to expose the site’s sandy substrate, which makes for a fine beachy surface.

J.A. Brennan is bringing today’s ecological design tools of soft shore design and native plant restoration to the park.  After suffering years of unabated intrusion of invasive species, the new park will include a lush, native riparian ecosystem along the river as well as select restoration of the unique shrub-steppe environment.

Habitat-friendly, soft shore applications include native cobbles and root wads

The design calls out two types of shoreline applications. In steeper areas, the design employs a mix of on-site cobbles and boulders with live stake plant material in the interstitial spaces to form a densely vegetated, naturalistic rocky, cobble shore.  Where slopes are a bit gentler, a seeded gravel/soil mix provides a green and dynamic shoreline, backed up by vegetated coir log installations.

Campsites and utility hook-ups under construction

We are excited to see the project moving forward.  There are many more exciting improvements to come before the grand opening in time for the 2015 season.  Check back in later to see the progress.  Thanks for reading!