Tollgate Farm Park to open: Improvements complete; ribbon cutting is June 10
Tollgate Farm Park has been open to the public since the fence came down in early May, but the official ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 3 p.m., Wednesday, June 10, at the park, 1300 W. North Bend Way, North Bend.
The city of North Bend owns the 410-acre Tollgate property, but it is operated and maintained by the Si View Metropolitan Park District under an interlocal agreement, which is good for the next 30 years.
“I like to say that it is a unique relationship,” said Si View director Travis Stombaugh, mentioning that the district also runs the city-owned North Bend train depot. “It’s a really good relationship in that we’re maximizing resources.”
The park improvements include paved public access and a parking area off of West North Bend Way, playground upgrades, a mile-long gravel trail, restrooms, a new picnic area, drinking fountains and a striking view of Mount Si from the central meadow.
Improvements were funded by a $1.3 million bond approved by voters in 2010; construction began 2013, but the comprehensive plan was developed more than a decade ago.
“As far as the comprehensive plan went, it was developed by the city of North Bend in 2004,” Stombaugh stated. “(The city) wanted the cows to stay there and they wanted to make some of it passive- and active-use. The overall plan calls for some athletic fields, but we didn’t do that as a portion of this development. We just did the trails on the perimeter, we provided access to the site, bathrooms, some picnic areas and a play structure.”
Stombaugh said there are still minor “punch-list items,” to complete before the project is officially finished, but it’s considered “substantially complete.”
As for the projected playfields and the farmhouse, that’s in the city’s hands.
Before construction, the district staff looked for historically significant artifacts. They found burnt rock from pre-human times, and sent it to the Burke Museum.
Historically, the land has been tribal hunting grounds, site of the first Euro-American visit in 1851, and farms.