Trout Creek Pocket Park, the project to revitalize and enhance a neglected park in Truckee’s historic downtown at the corner of of Jibboom Street and Bridge Street, is “currently planned, permitted, designed and ready for construction in 2015,” according to latest Mountain Area Preservation Foundation (MAP) online and email announcements.
This is one of the rare and welcome examples of Town of Truckee-supported rehabilitation and revitalization construction projects as opposed to far more common and often environmentally questionable new development construction while older municipal and commercial infrastructure in Truckee is allowed to decay. As such, the Trout Creek Pocket Park project, which is largely a non-profit sector initiative, deserves full support of Truckee residents who are concerned about the environment.
In addition to MAP, other supporting organizations are: Truckee River Watershed Council (TRWC), CATT Community Project, Sierra Business Council, Truckee Trails Foundation, Sierra Green Building Association, Public Arts Council, Truckee Donner Parks and Recreation District and the Town of Truckee.
MAP offers more details about the project and an option for making donations online on its Trout Creek Pocket Park Special Project Page. While most of the funding for the project has been secured, according to MAP, some extra funding is still needed.
MAP offers several Trout Creek Pocket Park Donor Opportunities from $100 – Friend of Trout Creek – Recognition on MAP Website as Friend of Trout Creek to $10,000 – Art Display (1 Available) Recognition on rotating art sculpture.
Here is a partial description of the project:
The park design includes a hard-scape entry way, plaza areas with permanent seating/tables, new placement of on-site boulders for seating, an information kiosk with interpretive components outlining the Trout Creek ecosystem and water quality/use and community support, art bike racks and a public art display that can rotate seasonally with various art installations. Native and drought tolerant plantings will encompass the creek banks and street-scape area. Native plants will also provide shade and erosion management away from the creek. The park will be accessible to the disabled and includes a connector to bike and pedestrian trails. It will be constructed utilizing green building techniques and following the guidelines of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (sustainablesites.org) which is currently the closest outline available to a LEED-type checklist for site, park and recreation improvements. Green components include solar lighting and permeable pavers. BMP’s installed at the park will help to manage storm water runoff, erosion control on the creek banks, installation of curb and gutter. The park will also include Town of Truckee trash cans, hardscape crosswalk connectors to Bridge and Jibboom Street, a paid parking meter and additional parking spots in the core of historic downtown Truckee.
Paid parking is an issue because for the many potential park users, especially seniors who have to drive to get to downtown Truckee, there is no viable green alternative for getting there. Paid parking discourages these people and many others from visiting the historic downtown Truckee more often. We hope that sufficient free parking for the handicapped will be provided near the park.
But for more fit park users who can get there easily on a bike, the idea of art bike racks at the Trout Creek Pocket Park is highly appealing.
Hopefully, the park will have less cement and bricks and more green space, as opposed to the currently proceeding Brickelltown sidewalk renovation project — a plaza on the northwest corner of Donner Pass Road and Spring Street in front of the AT&T building, which at least for now appears to us very heavy on cement and brick and low on trees and green space.
By contrast, the Trout Creek Pocket Park seems to have more green space, according to plans posted online. As pointed out by MAP, the Trout Creek Park follows the guidelines of the Sustainable Sites Initiative. Permeable pavers will provide storm water runoff and erosion control.
Overall, both projects signal much needed change for historic downtown Truckee. Let’s hope they’re not the last private and public investment in revitalizing the town rather than overdeveloping and encroaching upon pristine nature of the Truckee Tahoe region. We should also invest more in our schools, our Public Library and in other new green projects benefiting the entire community rather than the select few.