Featured image credit: Clark County Public Works
After a delay exceeding seven years, construction for the Otto Brown Neighborhood Park in unincorporated Clark County east of Vancouver, Washington, starts on Thursday, February 15, according to a report in the Columbian newspaper. The park is expected to open in late August 2018.
The construction delays were caused by a tight budget. Otto Brown Neighborhood Park is funded by park impact fees, which are collected when new housing is built. When the economy slowed, less money from fees was available to allocate toward park construction.
The new park will include a perimeter asphalt path, sports court, nature play area, wood chip loop trails, play equipment, picnic tables, and benches. Some trees will be removed for construction in the nature play area and repurposed into lily pads and log chunks for children to play on. Landscaping throughout the park will be designed to attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.
No parking lots will be built, but street parking will be available.
The park is named after Clark County native Otto Alexander Brown, who was born in the Hockinson area on May 25, 1878. During the bicycle craze in the 1890s, he built a bicycle and rode it to Vancouver’s Fourth of July celebration. Brown’s bicycle had a body and handlebars made of wood with rope tires and wheels turned on a horse-powered lathe. A Vancouver bicycle shop owner was so impressed with the design that he traded a new bicycle for Brown’s model. Brown’s homemade bicycle was on display at the shop for many years.
Brown became well-known for his carpentry skills and made furniture for homes as far away as Astoria, Oregon. He married Amelia Stewart Dubois in 1902, and they moved from Hockinson to Vancouver. They didn’t have any children. He died on December 18, 1967 at age 89.
The Otto Brown Neighborhood Park will be located at 15809 NE 96th Street, west of NE 162nd Avenue, and stretches south to NE 92nd Street. For updates on construction, visit the park’s page at the Clark County Public Works website.