Money is now in place to begin a project for a riverfront park in Malaga. 

Improvements are planned for a shoreline area on the Columbia River that would serve the roughly 5,000 people who live in the Malaga area. 

Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overbay says the money is coming through the state's Capital Budget recently passed by the legislature. 

"We had an application," said Overbay. "We were right on the line. And with that funding piece, it appears that we will be receiving up to $917,000 from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program for park acquisition.” 

Another state grant from the Recreation and Conservation Office is an Aquatic Lands Enhancement grant for $216,000 

Both grants are being facilitated through the state Department of Natural Resources and come to a total of $1.13 million. 

Aerial Image of planned Malaga riverfront park from Chelan County
Aerial Image of planned Malaga riverfront park from Chelan County

Overbay says the town of Malaga stands out for its lack of any riverfront amenities. 

"When we did our Shoreline Master Program, Malaga was the priority community that, while it still abuts the river, has absolutely no riverfront access," Overbay said. 

Design concepts for the park include a boat launch and swimming area as well as a playground and sports fields. 

Current plans also include a pedestrian and bike path that would extend from the Malaga waterfront park to the Apple Capital Loop Trail. 

There'll be more advanced design work for the park performed this year. 

Image from Chelan County
Image from Chelan County

A community survey on the park was distributed by the county in 2021, which received 153 responses. Survey results indicated the top three priority recreation features were, water access, family activities and trails. 

Chelan County, the Malaga-Colockum Community Council, and the Chelan County PUD have been collaborating on the project, with financing coming through the county and the PUD. 

The Chelan PUD would contribute the boat launch at the park, which would support its relicensing requirement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to operate the Rock Island Dam. 

The park site sits between the Columbia River and BNSF Railroad tracks. The site location was specifically chosen because it contains a railroad crossing to bridge the barrier created by the tracks. 

There’s no set schedule yet for construction of the riverfront park. 

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