Spokane County WA Parks, Recreation, and Golf Homepage

Bear Lake Regional Park Phase 1 Master Plan + Shoreline Repair  

Since it was purchased in 1974, Bear Lake Regional Park has been a well-used and well-loved outdoor recreation asset serving Spokane County residents.  Recently, in 2021, it became apparent that the rock-filled wire gabion baskets and some of the stairways at the shoreline had reached their "end of life," needing to be replaced in the near future.  As such, County Parks installed temporary fencing along the west shore to ensure continued safe use of this area until improvements to restore public access could be designed, funded, permitted, and built.  County Parks retained AHBL Landscape Architecture and Civil Engineering to create designs, and Ardurra Engineering (formerly T-O Engineers) to prepare environmental assessments and shoreline permit applications.   The design focuses on making long-term improvements to replace the gabion basket walls, and creating universal lake access for visitors.   

(NEW February 2, 2024!): Spokane County has been awarded funding assistance from the Federal Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), permits are in place, and the County is working on hiring a contractor!  Although we'd originally anticipated beginning construction in the Fall of 2024, it now appears that we'll be able to start sooner!  At this time, Spokane County Parks is optimistic that we'll be able to begin construction in early Spring 2024, continuing through Fall 2024.  

Please note that the park will be temporarily closed during the construction period early Spring '24-November '24).  This is for safety and to help stretch project dollars by allowing construction to proceed efficiently.  The actual park closure dates will be determined after a contractor has been hired, and will be posted here and at the park.  Your continued patience and cooperation is greatly appreciated.  We're sincerely looking forward to having the park ready for you to enjoy as soon as we're able to re-open in late Fall 2024.

Anticipated Project Timeline (please check back for updates): 

February 2024:  Award construction contract.
Early Spring 2024-Fall 2024: The park will be temporarily closed for construction.
Late Fall 2024:  Bear Lake Regional Park will reopen to the public.
Summer 2025: Construction of the Phase 1 Shoreline Repairs complete.

Past Milestones: 

September 2021 - March 2022:  Development of the Phase 1 Shoreline Master Plan and 60% Construction Documents.  April 2022County Parks staff submitted a grant application to the Federal Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) through the Washington State Recreation & Conservation Office (RCO), with the goal of obtaining funding to complete the construction documents and build the shoreline restoration designs.   September 2022:  County Parks received notification that the project ranked 8th of 26 projects with preliminary approval for funding in 2024.  October 2022:  Shoreline permit applications were submitted to local, state and federal agencies.  April 2023: Shoreline permit reviews complete.  Summer 2023: LWCF funding and RCO State grant agreements were awarded ahead of schedule.  Fall 2023: Construction Documents prepared, local permitting completed, and the construction bid advertisement was posted.

Project Budget:

$3,468,323 includes the Federal Land & Water Conservation Fund award of $1,383,323 matched by $1,580,000 (Spokane County REET) and a $5,000 cash donation by Inland Northwest Adaptive Derek Kiehn "Access to Adaptive Adventure" Memorial Fund.  In addition, $500,000 in REET funding was allocated by the Board of Spokane County Commissioners in 2023.

Prior Funding (master planning, 60% design & permitting):

$153,000 from Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) and general funds.

Public Participation:

Bear Lake Regional Park Shoreline Repair + Phase 1 Master Plan.  Sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to provide the many thoughtful and constructive comments that helped shape the Phase 1 Master Plan and shoreline designs.    


Shoreline Repair Focus Areas
Shoreline Focus Areas 60% Design
Phase 1 Master Plan - Shoreline Focus 
Phase 1 Master Plan - Shoreline Focus - Appendices


For more information please contact Julie Neff, Parks Planner / Landscape Architect, jneff@spokanecounty.org

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