Creating a Vision for the Spokane River

Julie Happy, 509.625.7773

Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 1:20 p.m.

The City of Spokane is in the beginning stages of creating the Spokane River Vision Plan. The plan is a community-driven process to develop a vision for enhancing access opportunities and connections along the Spokane River through the City of Spokane. The vision plan will preserve ecological integrity, protect cultural and heritage resources, and promote awareness and knowledge of the Spokane River system.

“The Spokane River is our greatest regional asset,” said Project Manager Maren Murphy. “Public access, both physical and visual, continues to be in high demand. Through robust outreach and engagement, the Spokane River Vision Plan will build on community initiatives to bring forth ideas for enhancing river connections for all to enjoy.”

A briefing paper on the Spokane River Vision Plan was presented to the Planning Commission during the January 23 meeting.

The plan is aligned with the City of Spokane Strategic Plan under the goal of Urban Experience, River Connection, and develop public trails and access points to Spokane River. Public access offers the general public the opportunity to “reach, touch and enjoy the water's edge, to travel on the waters of the state, and to view the water and the shoreline from adjacent locations” [WAC 173-26-221 (4)].

Project priorities include:

  • Enhance public access and connectivity to the Spokane River for safe, equitable, and high-quality recreational opportunities.
  • Preserve the environmental values and ecological quality of the shoreline and river corridor, including water quality and habitat.
  • Protect cultural and archaeological resources, and traditional and contemporary uses along the river in collaboration with the Spokane Tribe.
  • Increase public awareness and deepen stewardship of the Spokane River system through wayfinding, interpretation and education.
  • Identify funding strategies to build, maintain, and operate capital improvements, including the need for easements with willing partners where appropriate.

The final plan will be considered for Park Board review and City Council adoption.

Community outreach will start this spring, please continue to monitor our website for engagement opportunities. The final plan will be considered for Park Board review and City Council adoption in early 2020.