Move to Higher Ground

The Quileute Tribe is located in La Push on a reservation of less than 1 square mile, bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Quileute River, and the Olympic National Park. The Tribe has long been fighting for the return of their ancestral lands on higher ground, out of the flood and tsunami zone. In 2012, 785+ acres of former Olympic National Park lands were ceded back to the Tribe. The overall project is known as the Move to Higher Ground (MTHG).

Parametrix began working with the Tribe to develop a master plan of improvements. A land use plan was developed that created several organizational zones and campus areas: education, tribal services, culture/community, housing (three zones and numerous phases), and commercial. The existing village remains a critical component of the Reservation, and the Tribe is concurrently working to “Preserve the Heart” of the Lower Village, which is rich in culture and heritage as well as economic development ventures.

We worked with Quileute Housing Authority to prepare and conduct a housing needs assessment. The survey gathered input on the type of housing tribal members currently lived in, what needs were unmet, and what kind of housing would be needed in the future. As a result of the survey, the master plan includes areas for single-family, multifamily, elder, and transitional housing.

An infrastructure plan was created to support the planned land uses and layout, identifying the roads, water, sewer, stormwater, power, and telecommunications needed to support the relocation. As part of the improvements, Parametrix has prepared three individual NEPA EA documents which received a NEPA Finding of No Significant Impact from the BIA.

As the first phase of implementation for the MTHG initiative, Parametrix provided planning and preliminary site design, including grading, utilities, and access for the proposed Quileute Tribal School. Early in the process, our team worked with the Tribe to determine the best location for the school within the site based upon natural land features, safety, and cost considerations. Parametrix provided design and construction support of the Quileute Tribal School, completed in 2022. Our landscape architects worked directly with the Tribal Council and stakeholders to prepare covered and uncovered playground area concepts. The final design has a covered play area, including a sport court, outdoor play structures, and a multipurpose field. Given the annual rainfall in the area, an extensive drainage system was also provided.

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