Grant awarded for Truckee park | SierraSun.com

Grant awarded for Truckee park

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Provided to the Sun

A park planned for downtown Truckee has been bolstered by funds from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.

The Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, working with the town, has plans for a pocket park on the northeast corner of Bridge and Jibboom streets along Trout Creek.

A $93,500 grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy should get the project through design, environmental review and permitting with hopes of breaking ground late next year or early 2010.

“We’re grateful because it’s not an easy project to get through in this economy, not easy to get funding for the planning and design phase,” said Kaitlin Backlund, executive director of the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation. “It’s easier to get people excited about construction.”

Bob Kingman of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy said the group was interested in the project for its potential to help out Trout Creek.

“We thought the project had real potential to minimize impacts to the creek,” Kingman said. “And it’s an excellent opportunity to make headway along the rest of the creek.”

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Backlund said cleaning up the parcel and putting in the park will reduce what runs into the creek, particularly with snow storage nearby.

The park itself could include two plaza areas, Backlund said ” one shaded entrance area with seating and another circle with planters, seating and possibly local art.

The foundation is also aiming to work under Sustainable Sites Initiative guidelines ” similar to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building but for landscaping, Backlund said.

That could include solar-power lighting for the park, she said.

With design and permitting work now paid for, Backlund said she hopes to have everything in place by August or September, giving the foundation a chance to start either next fall or spring 2010 on construction.

“I think because of the interest within the community we’ll be working vigorously to get volunteers and donations for construction,” Backlund said.

That broad support was another reason for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s decision, Kingman said.

“We were really impressed with the support from different groups,” he said.

A $10,000 grant from the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation got the ball rolling on planning for the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation’s plans for the pocket park, and the town will be applying for another grant to help fund construction, Backlund said.

In a press release, Alex Terrazas, assistant to the town manager, said the Trout Creek Pocket Park had been identified for improvements in the Downtown Specific Plan.