The volunteer efforts of the Pullman Civic Trust transformed what had been a neglected riverfront site in 1983 into River Park. It features a check dam, benches, and a storage shed designed by former WSU Architecture Professor Don Heil. The structures were designed to suggest the art and artwork of Pacific Northwest indigenous peoples. The City of Pullman now oversees River Park, and community members annually participate in a spring cleanup. The park parallels the South Fork of the Palouse River and connects with the Bill Chipman Trail.
Backstory and Context
Pullman’s downtown developed on the south bank of the river, and the backs of Main Street buildings overlook the river. The area now known as River Park extends from Spring Street to Kamiaken Street and is adjacent to the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail; the non-profit Pullman Civic Trust spearheaded both projects. The organization is comprised of more than 700 volunteers and has worked hard to promote civic and environmental projects in Pullman. Successful projects for the group include River Park, the Bill Chipman Trail, the Three-Forks Wayside, numerous trail markers, and tree-planting along Professional Mall Boulevard.1