On Aug. 29 members from the community gathered to celebrate the ground breaking ceremony for the Tigard Street Heritage Trail and Outdoor Museum. The trail addresses several goals of the city including connecting trails to transit, an off-street walkway, providing access to downtown, and creating a space to express the plentiful history in the area.
Kenny Asher, Community Development Director, began the evening by commenting on Tigard’s goal to become the most walkable city. “We’ve never made a trail like this one. This is our strongest statement to-date of our commitment toward becoming the most walkable city in the Pacific Northwest,” Asher said.
Asher thanked the various participants in the planning, building and funding of the trail. The Tigard Street Heritage Trail is funded by ConnectOregon VI grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation, Major Street Transportation Improvement Program grant from Washington County, Urban Renewal funds from the Town Center Development Agency, City of Tigard Parks System Development Charges, and City of Tigard Urban Forestry Fund. The other portion of the project consists of the Tigard Outdoor Museum supported through the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town, Washington County Visitors Association, and City of Tigard Transportation Lodging Tax Fund. Tualatin Valley Creates, Washington County Museum, Rotary Clubs of Tigard, and Tigard Downtown Alliance are partners of these projects.
In 2015, the city paved a temporary path along this route. The need for the path was shown by the consistent use by people running, biking and walking on the trail. Plans to create a more permanent path continued with a survey for Tigard residents on essential elements to include along the path in Aug. 2017. The new and improved path will extend ¾ mile route from Tiedeman Ave. to Main St. Improvements to the trail includes ADA-accessibility, pedestrian and biking connections, lighting, landscape, historic information, and artwork.
Mayor Jason Snider followed Asher’s introduction by praising the trail’s potential. “The Tigard Street Heritage Trail will open access to parks and trails, livable neighborhoods, and our city’s vibrant downtown,” Snider said. “As a path to employment, it’s more than 10 years in the making. It’s an investment in connecting people to jobs, community and commerce.”
A part of the project is dedicated to selecting and installing three pieces of artwork from a collection of 62 artist’s entrees. Margaret Doherty, Oregon State Representative, expanded, “The museum includes three major artworks and interpretive installations to tell Tigard’s heritage. It’s a story yet to be heard.”
A project which began the initial stages over 10 years ago will be completed by the end of Oct. The finishing touches of the outdoor artwork will round out the project by the end of December.