In late 2013, Cowlitz County commissioners offered Willow Grove Park to the Port of Longview. On October 28, 2014, Port Commissioners unanimously voted to take over the 75-acre park on the Columbia River.
Significant upgrades to the Park are currently underway, with more planned in the coming months. Acquiring Willow Grove Park fulfills the Port's mission to enhance opportunities for waterfront access.
This is the first time in the Port's 97-year history that it has operated a park. The state authorizes ports to provide public recreation opportunities, and currently, half of the 75 port districts in Washington do so.
The Port named a Parks Advisory Board, consisting of representatives from each of the three Port districts, as well as one Willow Grove resident and one youth representative. The five-person Parks Advisory Board is tasked with making recommendations on park policies, comprehensive planning, large event applications and any incidents that may arise.
The 2018 budget includes $100,000 for capital improvements at the park, along with an additional $400,000 for general maintenance.