CCLR and its partners, Maul Foster Alongi (MFA), the Skamania County and the City of Stevenson, WA, hosted a Vision-to-Action workshop to inspire the future redevelopment on the former Hegewald Veneer Mill Site.
The Hegewald Site is a six-acre outcropping into Rock Cove, which serenely sits adjacent to the Columbia River, in the scenic Columbia River Gorge. It is about an hour from the Portland Metro area, and 30 minutes from Hood River, OR, well known for its windsurfing and tourism. The Mill once hosted industrial activity related to the manufacture of veneer wood products. Operations ceased decades ago, the Site has sat vacant, and is a blight in this otherwise idyllic setting. The County has redeveloped adjacent sites into assisted living facilities, a community center and fairgrounds. It is a short walk from downtown Stevenson to the east, and the Skamania Lodge, a conference center and golf resort, to the west.
Forestry and lumber mills were once the main economic strengths of the area. More recently, Stevenson relies on tourism, owing to its proximity to Portland and strategic location at the Columbia Gorge, Multnomah Falls, Mt. St, Helens and many other area attractions, like skiing and golf.
At the workshop, which was held on November 30th, about 30 members of the community deliberated on possible future uses on the site. Ideas for future reuse varied from publicly-accessible open space and recreation, mixed-use commercial with housing or lodging, and water recreational facilities like a boat launch. There was also an idea to redevelop the site into a brewery. In these visioning sessions, the community has a chance to vote on the future use they prefer. The Stevenson and Skamania community preferred to see manufacturing and industry located in other parts of the County which did not rely on water access, voting instead for retail/mixed use development and non-motorized water recreational facility at the former Hegewald site.
The recommendations will be compiled and transformed into visual interpretations by MFA and CCLR, and presented at future community workshops which will serve as the launching point for future efforts, including grant applications for planning, site assessment, cleanup and redevelopment.
The Vision-to-Action workshop is funded by a technical assistance grant to CCLR by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that helps communities come up with ideas for redevelopment on brownfield sites. Please visit CCLR’s Facebook page for photos of the event.
Photo by Sheila Sund via Flickr