Why Columbia Park’s Campground Will NEVER Re-Open
Those of us born in Tri-Cities remember a time when a campground existed on the west end of Columbia Park. The area has never really been re-purposed and is now full of weeds. The solitude and isolation make it perfect for family portraits, however! It's a busy place as families in their nicest button-up shirts and dresses kneel in the grass with forced smiles. But why was the campground shut down? And how come something new, something cool hasn't been installed there?
Not long ago on social media local residents in the know shared some facts about the west-end of the park, and it explains A LOT.
Because the campground is right next to the river the water table is very high. Sewage and other water treatment was handled in septic tanks. But even septic tanks require the water table to be below a certain level... and it isn't in that part of the park.
As recently as 2009 the city did an investigation trying to figure out what could be engineered for the area... but it's a no go. Too expensive.
In fact, the city had to pay a developer $3 million in 2009 for breach of contract after the plug was pulled on renovations and improvements.
It first began closing intermittently due to the sewage issues about 25 years ago and closed permanently and forever in 2003.
Some residents feel the investment would be worth having that part of the park better utilized. Some would like to see camping return, others want more park amenities -- maybe even a water park. Minimally, some don't understand why better trails aren't maintained there so what is open to the public is more enjoyable. What do YOU think?