New Upriver Park Along The Spokane River

Spokane, Wash.

Upriver Park along the Spokane River is now open for public use. Avista Corporation partnered with the City of Spokane Parks & Recreation to create the newly-completed Upriver Park, east of the city’s University District.

Avista dedicated three acres at Mission Avenue and Upriver Drive, near Avista’s corporate campus, to create a natural open space that allows public river access and water-based recreation while contributing to an ecologically-healthy shoreline. The park project involved vacating about a third of a mile of Upriver Drive, separating Centennial Trail users from motorized vehicle traffic in what has historically been a challenging spot for the Trail.

“Upriver Park will be a revitalized space that provides more recreational access to our beautiful river,” says Garrett Jones, director of the City of Spokane Parks & Recreation. “The native vegetation, improved river views, and widened Centennial Trail are all incredible and desired assets to add to the park experiences in our community.”            

Photo of paddler on the Spokane River by Aaron Theisen.
Upriver Park adds another public-access point for non-motorized watercraft and river recreation on the Spokane River. // Photo: Aaron Theisen

Loreen McFaul, executive director of the Friends of the Centennial Trail concurs. “Avista’s commitment to stewarding the Spokane River and Centennial Trail continues to make a positive, unique impact. Upriver Park sets a new standard for how the land between the Centennial Trail and Spokane River can be stewarded as greenway, healthy wildlife habitat, and riparian area for native plants.”

McFaul adds the park was thoughtfully designed with amenities like a wider Centennial Trail, trailhead parking, open views, and new public access to the Spokane River.

“Many Spokane residents feel unsafe on the Centennial Trail near Mission Park and along Upriver Drive because of the proliferation of illegal camping, litter, and overgrown trees and shrubs blocking open views to the river,” she says, noting that the new Upriver Park will change that.

“We are grateful to Avista for this beautiful community gift and encourage all jurisdictions and developers to repeat this concept along all 40 miles of Centennial Trail and the Spokane River in Washington.”

Find more stories about the Spokane River in the OTO archives.

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