East Wenatchee, Washington
The City of East Wenatchee Washington is located along the Columbia River in Central Washington. In the early 1900s, non-indigenous settlers planted apple, cherry, apricot, pear and other orchards, which thrived in the cool, dry climate, and with irrigation from the river. The City had not created a new park in nearly sixty years and its growing population would benefit from more open space and spaces for outdoor recreation and play.
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national national nonprofit whose mission is to conserve land for parks, gardens and other natural places. TPL used GIS mapping and interviews with residents and partners to identify a non-operational cherry orchard as the ideal location for a park. The orchard was active from the 1930s until 2008, and all structures and the trees had previously been removed. The site bordered the Columbia Valley Community Health primary care facility and a third of the City’s residents lived within a 10 minute walk, making it easily accessible. At 2.2 acres, the cherry orchard was large enough to create a lovely space for East Wenatchee. The Trust for Public Land determined that the park would serve more than 3,000 residents including 750 children.
The Trust for Public Land purchased the site in 2018 and began their due diligence. TPL conducted environmental site assessments as part of their All Appropriate Inquiries, or AAI. During the environmental site assessment, it was found that the site had higher than allowed levels of arsenic and other chemicals in the soil left behind from decades of pesticide use. TPL’s environmental consultant, Maul Foster & Alongi, recommended the Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) to provide technical assistance in pursuing an EPA Brownfields grant to remediate the site.
CCLR assisted TPL in preparing a $500,000 EPA cleanup grant in 2018. The grant was awarded in June 2019 and remediation began soon after. Once remediated, the park development was able to move forward. In March 2022, TPL officially transferred the completed park to the Eastmont Metropolitan Park District, conveying it permanently into the public domain as open space for the enjoyment and benefit of East Wenatchee residents.
Total Area: 2.2 acres
Previous uses: Cherry Orchard
Current uses: Park
Benefits: Serving 3,000 residents including 750 children with clean open space for exercise and recreation
Financing: The Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, Columbia Valley Community Health, Icicle Fund, North Central Washington Community Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and dozens of private supporters.
Services provided: Grant assistance
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) creates parks and protects public land. TPL was the lead organization on the Cherryhill Park project.
EPA provided several grants to assist in the assessment and cleanup of Emeryville brownfields.
Joelle is an accomplished rural, urban and regional planner with exceptional experience in managing complex brownfields redevelopment projects. She has successfully secured over $2 million in grants, and developed comprehensive Brownfields Programs bringing about meaningful “shifts” to stimulate economic development. Her projects have earned local, regional and national recognition including a Region 8 Phoenix Award.