East Wenatchee Opens First New Park in 50 Years
Trust for Public Land announced today the conveyance of 2.46 acres that comprise Cherryhill Park to the Eastmont Metropolitan Park District.
Through GIS analysis and on the ground interviews with area residents and partners, Trust for Public Land identified the ideal location for a new park. This will be East Wenatchee’s first new park in over 50 years and will serve more than 3,179 people and more than 750 children under 18 years of age. This project will address equitable park access for residents and fulfill the vision of Eastmont Parks’ 2014 Comprehensive plan and meeting the future needs of the community.
“Parks are such an important community resource and this new park in East Wenatchee dramatically increases park equity and bring thousands of residents within a 10-minute walk of green space,” said Andrew McConnico, Washington State Parks for People Project Manager for Trust for Public Land. “We are thrilled to have been able to work with local partners like Columbia Valley Community Health and the Eastmont Metropolitan Park District to bring Cherryhill Park to life.”
The site, located just east of the Columbia River, was an active cherry orchard from the 1930’s until approximately 2008. It is comprised of two parcels, one of which was funded by The Icicle Fund. Trust for Public Land acquired the property in October 2018 and completed environmental site assessments that indicated soil contamination. To make the site suitable for use as a public park the property was remediated through a brownfields clean up grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“The Eastmont Metropolitan Park District is very excited to accept the conveyance of this new park from Trust for Public Land,” said Sally Brawley, Executive Director for Eastmont Metro Park District. “The EMPD and TPL have worked together for several years to bring a new public park to the residents of East Wenatchee. Our partnership has provided a benefit for East Wenatchee that will last into perpetuity.”
Trust for Public Land did extensive public outreach, including door-to-door surveys, visual preference boards at City Hall, and met with hundreds of people at various public events. Neighbors, parents, and children have voiced strong support for the 9th Street project and the need for close to home parks in their community. The name Cherryhill was selected from a long list of community recommendations and approved by the Eastmont Park Board.
Funds provided by Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), EPA, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, Columbia Valley Community Health, Icicle Fund, North Central Washington Community Foundation, and dozens of private supporters have made this project a reality.
“Health and wellness are found in many places throughout our community, not just in a doctor’s office,” said Manuel Navarro, Interim Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operations Officer with Columbia Valley Community Health. “Columbia Valley Community Health is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Trust for Public Land and Eastmont Metropolitan Park District to make sure that the citizens of East Wenatchee have the chance to spend time in the great outdoors close to home.”
“Having a connection to the lands around us is so important in creating a sense of community and we are proud to be able to work with Trust for Public Land to give East Wenatchee residents the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of nature through Cherryhill Park,” said Christine J. Morgan, Icicle Fund Executive Director.
TPL will continue to work with Eastmont Park District to utilize an additional state grant to provide more amenities identified by the community such as shade coverings and seating.
“Having a place for residents to get outdoors and benefit from nature is so important to building a healthy East Wenatchee community and I’m thrilled to see Cherryhill Park come to life,” said Rep. Mike Steele (R-Chelan).
About Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres of public land, created more than 5,000 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $84 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected more than 9 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.