In 2016 Big River Grill Owner Justin Gross approached the City Of Stevenson about leasing a portion of Walnut Park for seasonal outdoor seating. After negotiations and public comment BRG signed a lease for the western portion of the park.
Independently, members of SDA board became interested in revitalizing Walnut Park which many members of the community identified as an underused resource in the downtown core. Since BRG has leased the western half of the park, the foot traffic count at the park has grown drastically. The SDA and BRG are jointly exploring avenues to ensure the park continues to be a resource to the entire community as well as creative solutions to expand the park's use beyond the summer season.
An initial project was the installation of the Chase Drinking Fountain, a generous donation from the RH Parker Foundation in honor of Carson's new canine resident, Chase the dog. The 150' waterline for the fountain was hand dug by community volunteers during the SDA sponsored Community Clean Up Day. The City of Stevenson used funds generated from BRG's lease of the park to help fund the remainder of the costs of the drinking fountain install.
In 2019, the SDA will continue to pursue renovations that will enhance the year-round recreational opportunities in Walnut Park through creative partnerships and community input.