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Agency seeks input on placing restrooms at parks along Truckee River

A gray, round structure reads “Public Bathroom” in black letters at the top. There’s also a sign that reads “Broadhead Park” on the restroom’s door. The Truckee River flows in the background, but it is partially blocked by trees without leaves.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
This “Portland Loo” was the first bathroom facility installed as part of the Truckee River Restroom Project by the nonprofit One Truckee River at Brodhead Memorial Park in Reno, Nev.

A local nonprofit is looking for input from the public on a project that places restrooms at parks along the Truckee River.

One Truckee River is a coalition of local government agencies and nonprofits with the goal of improving the health of the Truckee River, which provides a lot of the region’s drinking water. One piece of that plan includes providing a place for people to use the bathroom that isn’t the river itself.

“There is a need for more public restrooms along the Truckee River. There is a concern with human impact on water quality. And then also there’s a growing recreational need in the area,” One Truckee River Executive Director Iris Jehle-Peppard said.

The first facility was installed at Brodhead Memorial Park near downtown Reno last summer, which is an area where people experiencing homelessness oftentimes camp or spend their days. She says the goal isn’t to address homelessness — but that’s been an outcome.

“Whether you’re somebody that’s camping along the river, or you’re a mom with a kid that’s just gotta go, the restrooms are for everyone,” Jehle-Peppard said.

The type of restroom the organization is using is called the “Portland Loo,” and they cost about $100,000 each. One Truckee River is looking to install nine more of them over the next several years.

The organization will be presenting its proposal at four local government meetings over the next month, and they have a survey that can be found here.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning political journalist and the host of KUNR’s monthly show Purple Politics Nevada. She is passionate about reporting during election season, attending community events, and talking to people about the issues that matter most to them.
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