The Port of Ridgefield is grateful for all the participation we received in our waterfront survey and community engagement efforts this spring and summer. We spoke directly with hundreds of residents in the port district, which encompasses the city of Ridgefield; received more than 1,500 survey responses; and shared information with thousands more residents via direct mail and digital and social media. The input we received was incorporated into a community engagement report, which port consultants presented to the Board of Commissioners during their regularly scheduled Aug. 10 meeting.
“We had exceptional participation. People in Ridgefield really care and are invested, and you can see it from the quantity and quality of the feedback,” said port CEO Randy Mueller. “We really appreciate everyone’s participation and are taking what was shared with us into account immediately as we move forward with planning.”
Over three months of robust engagement, port staff, commissioners, and consultants asked community members what features they want to see as the port redevelops Ridgefield’s historic working waterfront. The most frequent responses included:
- Continued community access to Lake River
- Open and green spaces
- Dining and entertainment
- Biking/walking trails
- Retail shopping
- Light industrial uses
- Tourism amenities
People also expressed their priorities and concerns as the waterfront undergoes a transformation from remediated industrial site to a community asset. These included maintaining equitable public access, protecting the environment and wildlife, preserving Ridgefield’s small-town character, and ensuring the waterfront is a safe and welcoming space for the community.
“The Port of Ridgefield is a community port as well as an economic hub,” said port commission Chair Scott Hughes. “We excel at finding the right balance between what our community needs to thrive and what businesses need to bring jobs and grow here. We have some work to do as we plan this project, and we’ll be back out to the community with information and additional opportunities for feedback throughout the process.”
With the report complete, port staff and commissioners are resuming work to plan the future uses of the Ridgefield Waterfront. The port will continue to solicit community feedback at key points in the process and as plans evolve.
About the Ridgefield Waterfront
The Port of Ridgefield owns 41 acres of mixed-use property on Ridgefield’s historic working waterfront along Lake River, a tributary of the Columbia River. For the last 100 years, the site was occupied by wood products mills, a power plant, and a wood-treatment facility until the port remediated the property.
Today, the Ridgefield Waterfront is ready for redevelopment. The site is three miles from Interstate 5 and adjacent to downtown Ridgefield—the fastest-growing city in Washington state. Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, are within 30 miles.
The Ridgefield Waterfront is a popular and treasured part of the community. It currently features several public amenities, including a boat launch; day dock and transient moorage; fishing; public use areas; walking, hiking and biking trails; and access to the nearby Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
Learn more about the Ridgefield Waterfront at www.portridgefield.org/opportunity/land-and-buildings/waterfront.