Improving community access and recreation opportunities around Duffy's Pond may become part of efforts to revitalize downtown Kennewick.
Port of Kennewick commissioners received an update Tuesday about working with the city of Kennewick and the Army Corps of Engineers on a plan to develop Duffy's Pond.
Improving public access to the pond would complement the port's improvements on Clover Island and build on efforts to redevelop Columbia Drive, said Tana Bader-Inglima, Port of Kennewick director of governmental relations and marketing.
The Port of Kennewick has been purchasing property along Columbia Drive between the cable bridge and Clover Island Drive with the goal of revitalizing the area.
Improvements to Duffy's Pond are included in the port's master plan for Columbia Drive, she said.
Duffy's Pond used to be the shoreline of the Columbia River, but when the levees were installed, the pond was created.
Bader-Inglima said she has seen bald eagles, blue herons, otters, ducks, migratory waterfowl and American white pelicans there.
"It's actually a beautiful urban wildlife area," she said.
The city already has added a pocket park with a basketball court. Plans include getting the Corps to remove its fenced-in area where equipment is stored, Bader-Inglima said. The city already worked with the Corps to reduce the size of the yard.
Moving the yard would improve the view, she said.
The port also would like to see the trail along the south side of Duffy's Pond finished, Bader-Inglima said. The trail is a future trail spur from the Sacagawea Heritage Trail, the 23-mile trail that loops through Kennewick, Pasco and Richland.
The center piece along the pond is missing, she said.
Port, city and Corps staff toured Duffy's Pond last week to discuss possible changes. Bader-Inglima said the next step is getting city approval to explore development around the pond and having the city sublease the Corps-owned land to the port.
It may take a year to come up with recommendations, she said.
The city's Parks and Recreation Commission will discuss the proposal at 6 p.m. Thursday, said Maxine Whattam, city of Kennewick community services supervisor. The commission's recommendation will head to the city's infrastructure committee before coming before city council, which has the final say.
As part of the effort, staff will examine what can be done to improve the pathways and shoreline, Bader-Inglima said, such as adding a trail to Catfish Island, which is in Duffy's Pond, or clearing brush and silt from the pond to enhance the habitat.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org