Dune Fencing: Practical and Beachy

Protected plantings_IMG_2844
Protective dune fencing at Odlin Park

by Mike Perfetti, Senior Associate, Landscape Architect

One challenge we face on many public park projects is protecting newly installed plants from being trampled by park users.  (Another challenge is preventing plants from being devoured by wildlife!)  Recently we worked with Davido Consulting Group at San Juan County’s Odlin Park to design renovations to an extremely popular waterfront campground.

Odlin Park - Rendered plan
The design relocates the campground road away from the beach and creates walk-in campsites in areas that were once pull-in (car) sites.

Previously, the beach sites were strung together, tents, and portable shelters packed in against one another.  Cars parked in all sorts of configurations within the sites.  Though patches of dune grass prevailed around user trails, the grass was unable to expand, limited by the expansive human footprint.

Walk in site_IMG_2814

With the renovations, we used native shoreline plants to create more privacy between the beach sites.  The restored vegetation on the shoreline also enhances habitat and reduces erosion.  The beach sites don’t have irrigation and budget was an issue during design, so it was important to take a restoration approach, using smaller plant material.

It will take some time for the smaller plants to become established and substantial enough to achieve their desired effect.  In anticipation of this time lag, we designed a pattern of dune fencing to protect the plants and delineate use zones.  After one jam-packed camping season and record-breaking heat, the shoreline planting areas are doing well.

kayakers_Odlin Park - Rendered plan

Shore pines, Nootka Rose and Dune grass will eventually form thickets of semi-shady beach plantings, their scent mixing with the salt air and helping to break the wind as campers stoke the beach fires.

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In the meantime, the dune fencing will provide some of that function, creating an aura that is distinctly beachy, a welcome improvement from the cluster of vehicles and the unabated camp stuff that used to sprawl across the shoreline at Odlin Park.

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Things are happening at Entiat Park!

Entiat ConstructionConstruction is underway for the Entiat Park Revitalization project.  Here’s how it looked last week.

Here’s a zoom-in look at the future!Entiat_zoom parking boat launch

Here’s the whole plan…

Entiat_Illustrative Base_60 scale

J.A. Brennan is currently providing construction support services for the 30-acre waterfront (5,600 linear feet) park remodel.  Our multi-disciplinary team (AJEM, Pacific Engineering, Z Engineers, HV Engineers, Nelson Geotechnical) developed the design and construction contract documents for Chelan County Public Utility District. The $6 million revitalized park will offer visitors new campsites, a group camping area, RV sites with amenities, improved water access, a new boat launch, a hand-carry boat launch, comfort stations, swimming areas, multi-use trails, and day-use areas.

A Focus on Improving the Camping Experience
The upgraded camping facilities include new walk-in sites laid out to consider privacy, views, and access.  Fully-equipped RV sites will accommodate a larger variety of vehicle lengths and provide RV camping accessory configurations.  The RV sites and access road will be rebuilt further away from the shoreline, leaving the shoreline environment for pedestrian and bicyclist enjoyment, and enabling native plant revegetation along the water.  This dry, often hot eastern Washington site will consist of irrigated areas of lawn and shade trees for park use, as well as extensive areas of invasive species eradication, native shrub steppe-restoration, and riparian revegetation.

Creating a New Identity

Here are some images of the new signage and park architecture.

Entiat Park Sign Concept

AJEM Restroom 2011.03

For more information and a few demolition pictures, please check out the PUD’s website.