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Touchet Valley Trail design workshop Saturday


October 24, 2019

Loyal Baker

Design of the Touchet Valley Trail will be the focus of officials and architectural students this weekend as the 9.7-mile trail is studied and initial concepts presented to the public Saturday at the Columbia County Fairgrounds Pavilion, from 5 - 7 p.m.

DAYTON–The Port of Columbia and Touchet Valley Trail Steering Committee, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program, will host a design workshop here and Waitsburg to develop early-stage general design concepts for a non-motorized trail connecting the two towns on October 25-26.

The process will include site visits on public lands along the proposed trail corridor on Friday, October 25, a day-long design workshop, or a "charrette," on Saturday, October 26, and followed with a public meeting at the Columbia County Fairgrounds Pavilion at 5-7 p.m.

The charrette is being coordinated with WSU faculty and offers a unique mentorship and professional-development opportunity for landscape architecture students from WSU as a part of their junior level design coursework. WSU and UW students will work alongside landscape architecture professionals and other design team members to help produce an early-stage initial conceptual plan for the Touchet Valley Trail. This plan will provide a reference point as formal surveying and design planning begins later this year.

Feedback from adjacent landowners, from an on-line community survey, and from recent open houses in Waitsburg and Dayton will be shared with the design teams prior to the charrette. Part of their work will include brainstorming solutions to some of the design challenges and concerns raised by community members in the last few months.

This public portion of the event includes a design-ideas presentation by each of the four design teams followed by a sticky dot exercise in which members of the public will be asked to identify which design ideas they think could work best. Community members can also visit with the design teams during the sticky dot exercise, and comments will be recorded for future consideration. Sandwiches will be provided as a light dinner and several door prizes will be awarded at the end of the evening.

Design professionals from the Washington Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (WASLA) will volunteer their time to facilitate this intensive two-day workshop with community stakeholders. Ten students from Washington State University and two students from University of Washington will also join the design process.


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