Riverfront Ice Age Floods Playground & North Bank Open May 21

Final Redevelopment Bond Project Offers Playground and More

Media: Fianna Dickson, 625.6297. Parks & Recreation: 311 or 509.755.2489

Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 1:52 p.m.

SPOKANE – Riverfront’s five year, five project redevelopment work is nearly complete. The Ice Age Floods playground and additional amenities will open to the public on Friday, May 21 at noon.

Riverfront Ice Age Floods Playground & North Bank Grand Opening

Friday, May 21

Virtual ribbon cutting celebration at 11 A.M. at Facebook.com/riverfrontspokane

Open to the public at noon, with programmed activities to follow until 4pm

“Thank you to the Spokane community for voting to support the redevelopment of our city’s downtown urban park,” said Garrett Jones, director of Parks & Recreation. “What used to be a dirt parking lot is now a playground, basketball court, skate park, climbing boulder, and green space, with improved parking as well. This is a huge transformation, and it’s free to use for everyone in our community.”

The North Bank will feature a variety of amenities:

  • Ice Age Floods Playground: Visitors will learn about the events that shaped our region’s geography while they play! Enjoy a three story Columbian slide tower, Glacial Dam splash pad, a log jam climber, an alluvial deposit fossil dig, and more. The playground covers 40,000 square feet.
  • Skate and Wheels Park: Based on public input, the park includes street features with a transitioned wall ride, and two bowls which utilize the wall of the maintenance building for a near-vertical wall ride. The design also incorporates a flat bar that used to be part of the Under the Freeway (UTF) skate park.
  • Hooptown USA Courts: Funded by MultiCare, Spokane Hoopfest Association's 10,000 square-foot space offers 5 half courts and 2 full courts with flexible use. This summer, the courts will be painted with a colorful mural, funded in part by Spokane Arts. 
  • Roskelley Performance Climbing Boulder: Funded by the Jess Roskelley Foundation, this climbing boulder provides the community a place to hone their climbing and bouldering skills.
  • Parking, Restrooms, Picnic Shelter, Green Space: 156 new parking stalls, a drop-off zone, 4 family restrooms, two picnic shelters for public use, and turf.
  • Maintenance & Operations Building: A large facility to support the robust maintenance and operations needs of our park.
  • Intersection Improvements: An improved intersection and park entrance off Washington & North River Drive.

The cost of the entire North Bank project is $12.2M; $10.7M from the bond, and $1.5M from grants and donations. Construction began in February 2020.

Thank you to our partners who supported and collaborated on the North Bank: Ice Age Floods Institute, Spokane Hoopfest Association, MultiCare, Jess Roskelley Foundation, Friends of Spokane Skate Parks, Washington Recreation and Conservation Office, EPA Brownfield grant, Parks Accessibility Workgroup, Spokane Arts, Spokane Parks Foundation, the Spokane Tribe, Bernardo Wills Architects, T. LaRiviere Construction, Grindline, Selkirk Development, and the Public Facilities District.


Still to Come

Two art projects, funded with bond dollars, will be installed early this fall – StepWell and The Seeking Place.

In 2022, the north Suspension Bridge will be renovated with a mix of bond and non-bond funds.

A plan is being developed to return the Lilac Butterfly, which came down in the January windstorm, with modifications in structure security and technology. More information will be shared as plans are finalized.


A Look Back at the Redevelopment Bond Projects

The bond covered five key projects: a skate ribbon and SkyRide facility (2017), updated Looff Carrousel building (2018), renovated US Pavilion (2019), the Howard Street Promenade (2019), and regional playground (North Bank, 2021).

The 2014 Riverfront Redevelopment Bond was a voter-approved refinance of existing bonds that didn’t increase taxes. Construction began in 2016.

The bond provided $64.3M towards the $100M master plan for the park, and covered five Tier 1 projects. Additional projects on the master plan were completed with a mix of bond funds and grant funding, or private donations, including a renovated Rotary Fountain, and the City’s first all-inclusive playground, Providence Playscape, fully funded by Providence Health Care.

The City was able to apply for matching grants, and accumulate earned interest on the bond funds, bringing the redevelopment budget to $74.2M.

For more information on the redevelopment, visit RiverfrontParkNow.com.


About City of Spokane Parks and Recreation

City of Spokane Parks and Recreation stewards nearly 120 properties across 4,000 acres of park land, including manicured parks, conservation lands, aquatic centers, golf courses, sports complexes, and an arboretum. We also offer hundreds of recreation opportunities for all ages and abilities to improve the health and quality of life for our community. Enjoy all your city has to offer by visiting spokaneparks.org. Follow us @SpokaneParks on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.