BEND, Ore. - Biking, soccer, football, trail, and a dog park can all be found at Big Sky Park located at Hamby and Neff roads in northest Bend. The Bend Park and Recreation District wants to expand the 96-acre community and held an open house Monday evening to gather public input.
"I think it's important to provide amenities, not just for the traditional team sports, but also provide amenities for kids that don't play those team sports," said Perry Brooks, the landscape architect for Bend Park and Rec.
Big Sky Park has not had an updated master plan in 15 years. Some of the new amenities will be 300 to 400 new parking places, a new driveway off Hamby Road and an educational nature area, dog park maintenance, and multi purpose bike parks.
Brooks said there's a need for bike trails on the east side of town. About 50 people use the existing BMX course right now.
Many people who attended the open house were surrounding residents who are worried that any expansion, especially on the existing BMX track and the dog park, would bring more noise and traffic to their backyards.
Another concern is lighting for the BMX course. Brooks said things like extra amplification and lighting would be included in a land use application. It would not necessarily be a part of the design immediately.
One nearby resident, Rhomie Thompson, said Big Sky is a great place and he does not mind expansion, but he's worried about extra noise and more people letting their dogs run through his property.
"I definitely don't want to see loudspeakers within 100 feet of my property, nor lights," Thompson said. "I would hope that people who come to Big Sky Park respect the property owners.
Ultimately, the district wants to make park access easier and provide a wider range of recreational activities.
To learn more about the plans, visit: http://www.bendparksandrec.org/current_projects/park-projects/big-sky-park/