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River recreation plan unveiled

By Jeff DeLong, Reno Gazzette Journal
June 14, 2008

Trails, ballparks, picnic sites and a major regional park are included in a new recreation plan linked to flood-control improvements planned along the Truckee River. A conceptual recreation strategy for the $800 million Truckee River flood project was unveiled Friday and will serve as a key component of the overall effort, officials said.

"The recreational component is huge," said Jessica Sferrazza, a Reno City Council member and part of a coalition of local governments pushing for construction of the flood project. The draft plan, prepared by Stantec Consulting, Inc., in Reno, will be forwarded to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for further analysis, including feasibility and cost. Substantial changes are possible.

Recreational features of the project are designed to fit within the footprint of changes planned along the river to reduce flood damage and restore river ecology. The "living river" strategy favored by Reno, Sparks and Washoe County would rely less on levees and flood walls to control flooding than other options. It would allow floodwaters to spread naturally over undeveloped land, including areas where the river bank will be terraced.

Much of that land is seen as ideal to enhance recreational opportunities for Truckee Meadows residents at times when the river is not flooding.

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