Otto Brown Neighborhood Park
This 7.9-acre park is on the south side of Northeast 96th Street west of Northeast 162nd Avenue in the Heritage neighborhood.
A modest ribbon cutting was held at the park on Aug. 25, 2018. The park includes a paved perimeter path, a sports court, a nature play area, playground equipment, picnic tables, benches and other amenities. The park was designed with a natural theme that preserves the area's vegetation and overall character.
The project also rebuilt the southern half of Northeast 96th Street in front of the park with sidewalk, curb, gutter and new asphalt.
Click here for information on the park's name.
7 am to dusk
The concept plan was developed nearly eight years before construction and reflects a number of features, including playground equipment, paved walking paths, a sports court, an open lawn play area, picnic tables and benches.
The concept plan also includes several unfunded features, such as a gazebo, that could be added at a later date through community fundraising or grant applications. Benches can be donated through the Parks Foundation of Clark County.
Neighborhood parks are designed for people who live within a half mile and can easily walk or bike to the park. They are not meant to be major destination parks that attract visitors from across the county. Accordingly, they do not have parking lots or restrooms, which are included in larger community or regional parks that draw people from far away.
Public input helped guide park layout during the planning process.
The first project newsletter and comment form was mailed to neighbors living within walking distance of this park in February 2010. The comment form responses were used to help prepare a draft conceptual development plan showing what this park might look like.
This concept was presented to neighbors for review and input at a public meeting on April 8, 2010, and was posted online. A revised version of the plan was mailed to neighbors and posted online for final input in late May 2010. The plan was presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission for approval in June 2010.
April 2010 public meeting materials
- Public comment summary (PDF)
- Draft concept plan drawing (PDF)
- Smaller JPG version of draft concept plan
- Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Who was Otto Brown?
Otto Alexander Brown was born in the Hockinson area, which was then known as “Eureka,” on May 25, 1878. He was the fourth child of Charles Junel Brown, who emigrated from Finland and was among the original pioneer settlers in the area.
In the 1890s, the national bicycle craze reached Clark County. According to accounts in several history books, young Otto built a bicycle almost entirely out of wood and rode it all the way from Hockinson into Vancouver for the city’s annual Fourth of July festivities.
The bicycle had tires made of rope and wheels turned on a horse-powered lathe. A Vancouver bicycle store owner was so impressed that he gave Otto a new bicycle in exchange for the wood one, which was displayed in the store’s front window for years.
Not surprisingly, Otto became a well-known and skilled carpenter in Clark County and was a member of the Carpenter’s Union 1715. He made furniture for local farm homes and shipped his work as far away as Astoria, Ore.
He married Amelia Stewart Dubois in 1902 and moved from Hockinson to Vancouver, where he lived until his death on December 18, 1967, at age 89. Otto and Amelia had no children. The couple are buried next to each other at Park Hill Cemetery in Vancouver.
In 2010, neighbors asked that this park be named in memory of Otto in recognition of his innovative work in making his own bicycle.
Construction of Otto Brown Neighborhood Park was paid for using park impact fees, which are collected when new housing is built.