Development Threats to Drumheller Springs Park

Cover photo courtesy of Nick Thomas

Drumheller Springs is a 12-acre park with historic tribal significance near Ash Street, just north of downtown Spokane. While the park has undergone recent restorative efforts from the Upper Columbia United Tribes, it now faces a dense, adjacent development project. Directly across the street (50 feet) from the park there is a slated proposal (Ash-Place Townhomes) to bring 21 townhomes to only 1.3 acres of land.  

“We believe this will open the door to other, larger developments, encroaching on the native history, nature, and wonder that is Drumheller Springs,” says concerned citizen Michele Flynn. Starting in 2025, the City of Spokane is also slated to reassess the buffer zones around the park. The city owns several lots on the southeast end of the park that could ultimately be developed if buffer zones are removed. Flynn says that with new zoning, density, and building code changes in the city, Drumheller Springs is at risk.  

Two deer bucks enjoy vernal pools. grassy wooded area of Drumheller Springs Natural Park in Spokane.
Two bucks enjoy vernal pools. // Photo: Nick Thomas.

“Once its natural resources are gone—water, plants and wildlife—it will be gone forever. And none of us should forget the history of the native peoples and their historical relationship with Drumheller Springs,” says Flynn. (Out There writer Nick Thomas wrote a comprehensive article on the park in 2016, titled “The Best Spokane City Park You’ve Never Heard Of: Drumheller Springs.” Find it at 

The Audubon-Downriver Neighborhood Council has prepared statements for the upcoming Hearing Examiner meeting, which will be scheduled in coming weeks as project owners submit additional information to their initial application. The neighborhood council plans to ask the hearing examiner to consider limiting the scope of the allowed development to better match neighborhood character and to consider traffic and pedestrian safety concerns.  

“How we choose to navigate these issues as our city struggles with the balance of development and nature will have radiating impacts on how far ‘out there’ we find our ‘outdoors,’” says Dennis Flynn, a neighborhood council member. 

Get involved in neighborhood meetings and find more information, including a map of the proposed project, at (Lisa Laughlin)  

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