Montage and Badger Park Master Planning, River Access, & Connectivity
The City is conducting a coordinated community-based planning process for its parks and open space system.
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.
It is anticipated that these planning processes will inform each other and the Project.
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.
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.
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.
Planning Process Status
The planning started in August 2019 with a series of park design team meetings and public engagement focus groups in August, September, and October. However, the Kincade Fire and Community Services’ response during and after the fire - along with the holidays - delayed the planning process.
With the start of 2020 we restarted the planning process and retooled our public engagement approach. However, the onset of the COVID pandemic once again halted the project.
The staff and Fletcher Studios planning team restarted the planning process again in mid-Summer 2021 and we are back underway. For the latest status, please visit the Parks Design Team page https://www.ci.healdsburg.ca.us/931/Parks-Design-Team.