After months of cleanup, excavation and construction, Homestream Park in Winthrop is starting to take recognizable form.
Structures are up, an interpretive path meanders through the 2-acre site on the Methow River, and nine big boulders have been placed to symbolically represent the nine dams that spawning salmon must navigate to get this far upstream.
The progress is good news for Phil and Cathy Davis, who purchased the site and are developing it with the intention of turning Homestream over to the Town of Winthrop when it’s completed. An official opening celebration is scheduled for Oct. 13.
More needs to happen before then, notably the installation of a couple of dramatic metal sculptures by celebrated Native American artist Virgil “Smoker” Marchand. Marchand, a member of the Arrow Lakes Band of the Colville Confederated Tribes and a self-taught artist, is creating sculptures of a spawning salmon and a tribal fish camp.
The Davises purchased the property in late 2018 with the goal of creating a serene area dedicated to the rivers and fish of the Methow Valley. The park will include the interpretive trail with informational signs; the Marchand sculptures; a public gathering area with covered shelters; picnic tables; benches that will be named for the four rivers in the Methow Valley, Lost, Twisp, Chewuch and Methow; and a kids’ play fort. There will be pedestrian river access but only one or two parking spaces on the property for handicap access. The land will be restored to its natural riparian and floodplain condition.
The site, adjacent to the Methow River bridge, had for years been a horse corral and included several structures. All but one were removed.
Nearly 40 local organizations, companies, artists, contributors and volunteers are listed as “partners” in the project on the park’s website, www.homestreampark.com. Dozens of volunteers have already been involved in the project.
“It’s like we are channeling the whole community,” Phil Davis said in an interview last week. “It’s exceeding our expectations. This is going to be very special for the community.”
Davis said more information about the grand opening celebration will be available closer to the event.