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.


Evolution of Project Photography

by Chris Nack

The Button
The Button

Keeping the image library organized and up-to-date is time consuming for a design firm.  We found something image-related to smile about when we found this relic, with its original box, in the back of our old storage cabinet.

Then: $26.99 Fred Meyer price tag

Today: $6.99 on ebay

As the pre-digital version of instant-photo gratification, The Button performed for us when we desperately needed a real-time photo.  From the early days through the 1990s, the majority of our project images were collected as slides and organized in binders.  We still have the binders and are on the verge of converting some of that collection to digital format.

From the Slide Era:


The slide library awaits selection for digitizing.  Too bad we can’t locate our slide projector.  We’re looking forward to a day of bending over the light table!

Negatives and Prints


What will we do with these?

Scan the prints? Scan the negatives?

Most likely: After we pick out our favorite images for scanning we will accept that we have not opened a box in seven years and let the rest go.

A Digital World

Today site photos come back from the field via phone camera, DSLR camera, and compact digital camera; we have a camera for every occasion.  Keeping digital images organized is no easier!  There are more photos than we had in those simpler days of The Button’s reign.

Nature Play

Custom designed climbing/play snag at Discovery Pond, Tacoma Nature Center, Tacoma, WA

Recently Mike Perfetti, senior associate, presented at the Washington Recreation & Park Association’s (WRPA) Annual Conference & Trade Show, held this year in Vancouver, WA.  WRPA’s mission is to promote excellence of current and future Parks and Recreation professionals through advocacy, education, networking, and training.

Mike’s presentation, Nature-based Playgrounds: From Design to Operation, provided insight for park managers, staff, and students interested in implementing nature play opportunities in public parks.

Today there is substantial amount of awareness and supporting research regarding the unhealthy state of many American children.  Since the release of Richard Louv’s best-selling book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2005), it has become a priority among parents and park managers to help children play safely outdoors and, at the same time, benefit from the teachings of the natural world.

In his book, Louv cites the well-known obesity epidemic among American children today and the lack of exposure to the natural world, which he posits inhibits nature appreciation, understanding, and survival skills, as well as physical conditioning.  He believes this lack of exposure to the outdoors has to do with parents’ and guardians’ real and perceived fears, as well as a high level of exposure to time-consuming pursuits of gaming and video watching.

Mike’s presentation advocates for the implementation of nature-based play opportunities within public spaces.  Mike describes two nature play models:

 Model 1: The Informal Free Play Model

Mathison Park nature play features in Burien, WA

In this model, nature play takes place on a piece of public land set aside for that purpose, or within which it is an allowed use, but the amount of introduced play components is kept to a minimum.  This model represents nature play at its core, allowing children to play in an essentially undeveloped, naturalistic environment, and is also beneficial in terms of being inexpensive to implement.

Model 2: The Fabricated Nature Play Model

Tree house structure at Discovery Pond, Tacoma Nature Center

The fabricated nature play model relies on introducing fabricated play components into an area, which provide some degree of nature-oriented play and/or learning.  This is useful in a number of applications, such as sites that lack significant natural components, or where maintenance, liability or supervision may be issues.  This can be a particularly effective model in terms of appealing to a great number of people, and can be adapted to a wide variety of sites and conditions.

Case Study

Discovery Pond at the Tacoma Nature Center

Mike presented J.A. Brennan’s design for the Discovery Pond Nature-based Playground at the Tacoma Nature Center as the major case study in understanding how to implement nature-based play in a park.  He highlighted the need for outlining a program with goals and objectives and listening to stakeholder input as key components to creating a successful nature play area.

Discovery Pond is centered around a recirculating water feature and features an array of fabricated natural-looking play elements that serve children of all ages and is ADA accessible.  The design carefully restores the site and creates a natural appearance that complements the Nature Center’s site and programming.

Bike to Work Final Stats

Bike to Work month has come to a close and JAB is proud to have had 50% of its staff members riding.  Few firms reach such a high level of participation!  Together we logged 545 miles (not counting all the miles we forgot to record), saved approx. 542 lbs of CO2, and burned 26,714 calories.  Time to bake more banana bread!  Together we braved the rain and rode on 60% of our work days which ranks us in the top half of Architecture and Engineering teams and far better than the 42% overall average.  Thanks to everyone for playing along.  Who is up for Run to Work month in June?