Port & Partners Win 2023 Governor’s Smart Communities Award

An aerial overlooking Clover Island in 2023 following the final restoration and revitalization project.

Port & Partners Win 2023 Governor’s Smart Communities Award

Port & Partners Win 2023 Governor’s Smart Communities Award

Kennewick, Wash. – Collaboration, creativity and excellence in implementing the comprehensive Clover Island restoration and revitalization plan has earned Port of Kennewick and its partners the 2023 Governor’s Smart Partnership Award.

On Wednesday, the Washington State Department of Commerce announced the 2023 Governor’s Smart Communities Award winners, including the port-led team’s Smart Partnership Award. This is the sixth Governor’s recognition award received by Port of Kennewick since 2009.

For the 2023 Smart Partnership Award, Port of Kennewick partnered with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington State Recreation & Conservation Office, Benton County and City of Kennewick on the multi-phase project.

The massive undertaking at Clover Island spanned 15 years, from 2008 to 2023. The work required a phased approach to transform the eroding, concrete-covered shoreline into a stable, sustainable habitat with vibrant upland development, public artwork and inviting recreational amenities.

“The community told us they wanted more and better access to the Columbia River and recreational amenities on Clover Island,” said Tim Arntzen, port chief executive officer. “Together, we have delivered by creating an inviting destination for the region, returning damaged shorelines to conditions favorable to young salmon and other wildlife, and creating options for new development on Kennewick’s historic waterfront.”

In all, the port’s endeavors stabilized nearly 1 mile of Columbia River shoreline to allow upland development, built a fully-functioning, U.S. Coast Guard-approved lighthouse PATON (private aid to navigation), and added numerous public amenities, including the Clover Island Riverwalk, 10 public artwork installations, a renovated boat launch, a restroom, paved parking, benches, a picnic area, five educational panels, and 11 scenic viewpoints.

The restoration work created four commercial waterfront parcels the port is preparing to lease for private-sector development.

Port of Kennewick’s property portfolio has included Clover Island since 1942.


Port of Kennewick is a municipal corporation serving taxpayers in Kennewick, Richland, West Richland, Benton City and portions of unincorporated Benton County. The port’s mission is to develop assets that create sustainable family-wage jobs, user-friendly transportation systems and quality of life enhancements for visitors and residents of the port district.