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Otto Brown Neighborhood Park (formerly North Sifton)

Current Status
The county has put this project on hold until additional funding for final design and permitting, construction and long-term maintenance of the park is available. More information about the park development delay.

Click the following links, or scroll down the page, to access additional project information:

Project Description
This 8.4-acre property is located at 15809 NE 96th St., on the west side of NE 162nd Avenue in the Heritage neighborhood. The undeveloped site features both open pasture and forested areas. Half of the property is currently leased for agricultural purposes.

The conceptual development plan for this park includes:

  • Paved, ADA accessible walking paths
  • Small, soft-surface loop walking path through the forest
  • Playground equipment
  • Sports court with a basketball hoop and combined four-square court/oversized checkers board
  • Natural play area with logs and boulders
  • Open lawn play area
  • Picnic tables
  • Sidewalk and walkway along NE 96th Street in front of the park
  • Entrances from NE 96th Street and from NE 160th Avenue
  • Bike rack, garbage cans and signage
  • Additional trees and landscaping as budget allows
  • Space for donated benches
  • Future, unfunded gazebo
  • Future, unfunded secondary path

The unfunded features can be added to the park in the future through community fundraising or grant applications. Benches can be donated through Vancouver-Clark Park and Recreation's Bench Program. Find out more by contacting the Parks Foundation of Clark County at (360) 487-8370.

Who was Otto Brown?
Otto Alexander Brown was born in Hockinson, which was then known as “Eureka,” on May 25, 1878. He was the fourth child of Charles Junel Brown, who immigrated to America from Finland and was one of the original pioneer settlers in the Hockinson area.

In the 1890s, the national bicycle craze reached Clark County. According to accounts in several local history books, young Otto built a bicycle almost entirely out of wood and rode it all the way from Hockinson into Vancouver for the city’s annual Fourth of July festivities. The bicycle had tires made of rope with wheels that turned on a horse-powered lathe. A Vancouver bicycle store owner was so impressed with it that he gave Otto a brand new bicycle in exchange for the wooden one, which hung in the store’s front window for years.

Unsurprisingly, Otto became a relatively well-known and skilled carpenter in Clark County and was a member of the Carpenter’s Union 1715. He made furniture for local farm homes and shipped his work as far away as Astoria, Oregon. He married Amelia Stewart Dubois in 1902 and moved from Hockinson to Vancouver, where he lived until his death on December 18, 1967, at age 89. Otto and Amelia had no children, and are buried next to each other at Park Hill Cemetery in Vancouver.

In 2010, neighbors asked that this park be named in memory of Otto in recognition of his innovative solution to an age-old problem of getting from here to there.

Project Schedule
Winter-summer 2010: Planning and preliminary design phase; public feedback obtained; proposed conceptual development plan developed.
Summer 2010: Proposed conceptual development plan presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission for approval; planning phase ends; final design and permitting phase begins.
2011: Design and permitting phase substantially completed. Construction will not proceed until additional funding to build and maintain the park is available. More information.

Public Participation
Project staff relies on public participation to help guide park layout during the planning process. Your input:

  • Helped us understand and respond to the needs and concerns of your neighborhood.
  • Helped us understand which park features were most important to you and your neighbors.
  • Helped us learn about the potential for community fundraising and volunteer project to add features to the park.

The first project newsletter and comment form was mailed to neighbors living within walking distance of this park in February 2010. The comment form responses were used to help prepare a draft conceptual development plan showing what this park might look like. This concept was presented to neighbors for review and input at a public meeting on April 8, 2010 and was posted on this Web page. A revised version of the plan was then mailed to neighbors and posted on the Web for final input in late May 2010. The plan was presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission for approval at a public meeting in June 2010.

For regularly updated information about this project, sign up for the project e-mailing list by filling out the electronic form at the bottom of this Web page.

May 2010 newsletter (1.4 MB PDF)

April 2010 public meeting materials:

February 2010 newsletter and comment form mailing:

Project Funding
Design and construction of North Sifton Neighborhood Park is funded by park impact fees, which are paid whenever a new residential property is developed, and the real estate excise tax, which is paid whenever property is sold. Maintenance of the park will be funded by the Greater Clark Parks District, a special district approved by voters in the unincorporated urban area of Clark County in 2005.

Contact Information:
Robin Washington, Project Manager
Clark County Public Works
Phone: 360-397-6118 ext. 4572
E-mail: Robin.Washington@clark.wa.gov


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