Washougal Civic Recreation Complex
The City of Washougal in partnership with the Fort Vancouver Regional Library (FVRL) District seek $500,000 in RCO Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program funding with $500,000 in match to develop much needed outdoor recreation facilities adjacent to the planned Washougal Branch of the library and the existing Washougal Community Center in the heart of Washougal’s revitalizing downtown/Town Center District. The project will result in the creation of an outdoor seating area (.12 acres), the city’s first off-leash dog park (.33 acres), and a pocket park and splash pad (.34 acres).
The proposed project will take place in the heart of the Town Center and will bring much needed parks and recreation opportunities to an underserved community. The Town Center has a higher poverty rate than the city overall at 22.2% as compared to 13.7%. In addition, the Town Center has a significant population of minority residents (18.8%), a significant elderly population (14.8%), and a significant population of individuals with disabilities (19.4%). While there are 26 parks in the City, only one currently exists in the Town Center creating an opportunity to improve health and quality of life for residents while also increasing the attractiveness of the City’s downtown core.
Recognizing the need for additional park space in the Town Center, the 2019 Washougal Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan put forth the recommendation that the City consider purchasing property for the development of a downtown park. In 2020, the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District selected the site for the new Washougal branch in the Town Center adjacent to the Washougal Community Center. This development presented an opportunity for the City to leverage FVRL’s efforts and cultivate additional public and private interest in the downtown.
The goals of this project are to provide vital enhancements to the quality of life in Washougal and promote economic growth by drawing the surrounding communities to enhanced civic center, to share all that Washougal has to offer, educationally, culturally, and professionally. New urban greenspace will provide opportunities for passive recreation that supports individuals of all ages and will provide new opportunities for recreational programming at the adjacent community center. Improved access to the FVRL and nearby Town Center businesses will serve as a major catalyst for redevelopment, encouraging new businesses to locate in this area and individuals to stay, play, and shop in Washougal.
This project will result in both passive and active outdoor recreation opportunities for Washougal residents and visitors. All new recreational assets will be ADA compliant, and features will be designed for individuals of all ages and ability levels. ADA accessibility along with new recreational amenities will create opportunities for residents who may have traditionally faced barriers to parks and recreation.