Haworth Park Washed Out...Again

Watching the river flow has become a major event at the park the last 12 months.

Flooding has closed the park down since last June.

"For us I guess it's an emotional issue...its a real heartbreak," Anita Eckley said. She was one of a dozen volunteers working on displays of roses at the park.

Eckley echoes a feeling now blooming annually along with hundreds of roses volunteer groups have been planting at the park.

"What we wanted for Bellevue was for this to be a place to have events," she said.]

But most of those plans have been washed out.

Eckley says a display of more than 250 roses planted at the marina is now underwater.

Another display on higher ground is also threatened.

The volunteers are keeping a wary eye as the water inches closer.

"Huge, huge, huge problem with this area," she said. "It's just potentially another heartbreak this year. We're trying to be a cup half full instead of a cup half empty but its tough."

The financial loss here is also a major hit.

The marina was severely damaged and it's closed for the year.

And an empty park doesn't bring in any revenue.

One-hundred and nine camping pads are usually jam packed during holiday weekends and the summer months and the city stands to lose a lot of money during the park closure...$2,250 daily. And that's just on camping fees.

Saturated grounds and increased flows released upstream are the main causes of the problems at Haworth Park.

Planting the seeds of frustration at what might lie ahead.

"All of us are sitting here going...Mother Nature...it's not Mother Nature, I'll call her Mother Meanness from now on, you need to go away and go pick on somebody else," Eckley said.

The city plans to re-open the park on July 1st. But much of that depends on rainfall both in our area and north along the river.

The city plans to be ready for Riverfest in mid-July.

That event attracts around 40,000 people.

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