Media: Fianna Dickson, 625.6297. Parks & Recreation: 311 or 509.755.2489
Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 12:48 p.m.
SPOKANE – The January 2021 windstorm brought significant damage to Comstock Park, causing a portion of the underground irrigation systems to fail. Work to replace that damaged portion of the system begins next week, and is expected to be completed before winter.
The damage impacted antiquated 1937 irrigation infrastructure (the park is partially modernized irrigation, partially antiquated). The irrigation work happening this fall will bring outdated portions of the park’s irrigation up to current standards, and create a fully automated watering system. Previously, much of the park required manual watering by setting and removing quick-coupler sprinklers connected to underground pipes.
The replacement area is about 4 acres, or 15% of Comstock, in the southeast portion. All areas outside of the work zone will remain open to the public. The cost of the project is $154,000.
Additional windstorm damages, repairs
The estimated damages to parks from the January 2021 storm total $700,000. The City has applied for FEMA funding to help cover repair costs.
Several repairs have already been made. At Comstock, fencing around backstops, tennis courts and the aquatic center are complete. At Underhill Park, damaged fencing has also been repaired; damage done to lighting at Coeur D’Alene Park is repaired; and at Downriver golf course, site fencing and the clubhouse roof were repaired.
There remains damage left to repair, including turf and site furnishings (benches, bleachers and picnic tables). A restoration plan is also underway for the Riverfront Park lilac butterfly.
Additional work is being done to mitigate the loss of tree canopy caused by the storm City-wide. The Windstorm Restoration Plan aligns with a program called SpoCanopy, created by the Parks’ Urban Forestry department in partnership with The Lands Council. SpoCanopy aims to have 40% tree cover in Spokane by 2030. The trees lost in Comstock and other parks across Spokane are being replaced 2-for-1, equaling about 400 trees; they are being planted throughout the park system, with preference given to parks with the greatest need. A volunteer tree planting will occur this fall, details to follow.
The limited-edition Comstock print by local artist Chris Bovey is for sale, with all proceeds benefitting the windstorm restoration efforts.
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.