Montage and Badger Park Master Planning, River Access, & Connectivity

Elevate Parks Resized

The City is conducting a coordinated community-based planning process for its parks and open space system. The goals of the project include:

  • Developing a master plan design, cost estimates, and related information for a ~36-acre public park associated with the Montage brand resort and residential development currently under construction.
  • Developing a master plan design, cost estimates, and related information for redevelopment of the City’s ~20-acre Badger Park located along the Russian River.
  • Analyzing opportunities for creating access to the Russian River as the Russian River passes through the City and developing a plan to enhance river access.
  • Analyzing and developing a high-level plan for connectivity to parks, open spaces, recreational facilities, schools, the Russian River, and other points of interest.

This project will create legacy opportunities for the community and will be done in conjunction with other planning processes that are currently underway or will be launched soon. These include a Parks and Recreation Facilities Inventory and Assessment, an Arts and Culture Master Plan, a master plan for the redevelopment of Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach (operated by Sonoma County Regional Parks), the City's Strategic Plan Update, and the American Institute of Architects Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) / Healdsburg 2040 project. It is anticipated that these planning process will inform each other and the Project.

Technical Design Team

In October 2018 the City issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking a consultant or a consultant team (consultant) to provide technical expertise in the areas of park planning and design, cost estimating, and creative public engagement processes. You can download a copy of the RFQ here. You can download the webinar file or view the presentation online by following this link: 10.12.18 Planning Webinar. (Push the play button to start the replay of the online webinar.) Finally, you can download a copy of the PowerPoint here: 10.12.18 Planning Presentation PowerPoint.  

The City received 18 statements of qualifications for the project and selected a technical design team that is led by Fletcher Studio out of San Francisco (www.fletcher.studio) with participation from AIM Consulting for outreach and engagement, Inter-Fluve for water resource engineering, BKF for civil engineering, and others to lead the project. You can review Fletcher Studio's proposal here

Community-Based "Parks Design Team"

This planning process is being led by a community and stakeholder group called the Parks Design Team (PDT). The Parks Design Team is made up of community members, park users, and other stakeholders who will help identify needs, provide input, and review concepts and proposals throughout the planning process. The Parks Design Team will meet at least monthly with additional activities and public engagement opportunities scheduled throughout the planning process. For more information including meeting information please visit the Parks Design Team page. 

Project Summaries (from Fletcher Studio)

Montage and Badger Park Master Plans

While Montage and Badger Parks are incredibly unique sites with different possibilities for and relationships to the greater Healdsburg area, they are both large scale spaces roughly at the northern and southern edges of the city. And, while their size affords the opportunity to support new and existing programs and amenities, developing a deep understanding the inventory of resources at existing parks, balanced by potential future need, must inform this. We understood the PDT as recognizing that both Montage and Badger possess enormous potential to support expanded recreation, new amenities, and opportunities for ecological resiliency and conservation. The PDT indicated that the expectation is not to maximize activation and amenities, but to understand these sites within the context of Healdsburg, Badger and Montage should be analyzed, activated, and designed through careful study of their particular contexts, with a robust understanding of the existing assets and resources within Healdsburg, and with a careful eye towards the future conditions that will shape Healdsburg’s open space needs.

River Access

Our trip to the Healdsburg Museum helped further our preliminary research regarding the multifaceted and diverse relationship that Healdsburg and the surrounding area has had with the Russian River throughout its history. As the County, City, and other agencies revalue and push for enhanced access, protection, and conservation along the River, incredible new opportunities can be realized to develop precedent setting work at the local, regional, and potentially national levels. However, given the fragile state of the River and the risk of overformalizing access, or over-expanding access to the River – the risks of environmental degradation and endangered human safety are ever-present. As the climate continues to change, and a variety of social groups find a renewed value and sense of place along the river, access will have to be developed in concert with adjacent communities, partner agencies, and key stakeholders to ensure the River’s vitality is protected and enhanced.

Connectivity

We immediately recognized connectivity as a key component for the project’s success early on. However, after hearing over 70% of the PDT specifically name connectivity as integral to the project’s success during the August 15 Meeting, combined with many of the conversations we had with you during our site walks, its already high-importance has only been further  demonstrated. The value placed on expanded access, enhanced safety, and inclusive access for pedestrians and cyclists of all ability levels was clear. People spoke about wanting to rely on their cars less, and wanting to feel safe and excited moving about Healdsburg with their families and friends whether on foot, by boat, or on bicycle. Healdsburg’s natural areas, preserves, parks, and waterways are uniquely special open space assets, their individual integrity and possibilities are deeply important. However, the connections between them will be the critical factor in not only strengthening individual assets, but collectively realizing a truly transformative master plan that takes interconnectivity, quality of experience, and the safety and integrity of multi-modal transportation as a core guiding principle.

We're Just Getting Started!

The planning got underway in August, so we're still in the initial stages. Please check back for updates and be sure to follow us on Facebook