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South Falls at Silver Falls State Park
South Falls at Silver Falls State Park
Parking fee waived for Green Friday at Oregon State Parks (Photo) - 11/15/18

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) invites people to play for free Nov. 23 in celebration of “Green Friday.” The agency will waive day-use parking fees in 25 state parks the day after Thanksgiving.

"We started Green Friday four years ago to encourage people to opt outside and the response has been very positive," said Lisa Sumption, OPRD director. "We’re thrilled that many families now include a state park outing as part of their holiday tradition.”

Parking is free year-round at almost all state parks; the waiver applies to the 25 parks that charge $5 daily for parking. The waiver applies from open to close on Nov. 23, except at Shore Acres State Park, where it expires at 3 p.m. for the Holiday Lights event that runs Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve. A list of parks that require day-use parking permits is available online.

Driving directions and more info about state parks is on oregonstateparks.org.

County Opportunity Grant Program Advisory Committee meets November 19 in Salem - 11/15/18

SALEM, Ore. – The County Opportunity Grant Program Advisory Committee will meet 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Hampton Inn & Suites, 510 Hawthorne Ave. SE, Salem. The meeting is open to the public.

The bulk of the agenda will feature County Opportunity Grant Program (COGP) applicants presenting their proposed projects to the committee for review. Project presentations will run 9:40 a.m. – 2 p.m. For specific presentation times, refer to the full meeting agenda on the grant program website.

The committee will evaluate and score all applications and create a priority ranking list of projects to be funded. The priority ranking list will be forwarded to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission for final review and approval.

The COGP Advisory Committee consists of seven members who represent counties, recreational vehicle owners, people with disabilities and the general public. They also represent various geographic areas of the state. 

The COGP provides grant assistance on a project basis for the acquisition, development, rehabilitation, and planning of county park and recreation sites that provide camping facilities. The program was established in 1983 to direct a portion of revenue from recreational vehicle registration fees to counties for park and recreation sites and programs. All Oregon counties are eligible to apply to the COGP. The program is administered by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). 

For more information about the COGP, visit oprdgrants.org.

Individuals who need special accommodations to attend the meeting must contact Mark Cowan, OPRD grant program coordinator, 503-986-0591 or k.cowan@oregon.gov">mark.cowan@oregon.gov, at least three days in advance.

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will meet Nov. 27-28, 208 in Lebanon - 11/08/18

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will meet Nov. 27-28, 208 in Lebanon

Lebanon, Ore. — The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will hold its fifth and final meeting of the year Nov. 27-28 in Lebanon.

On Nov. 27, Commissioners will tour Cascadia State Park and Linn County’s River Bend Park, followed by a work session and training.

On Nov. 28, Commissioners will convene an executive session at 8:15 a.m. at the Best Western Boulder Falls Inn Conference Center, 505 Mullins Drive, Lebanon, to discuss real estate and legal issues. Executive sessions are closed to the public. A public business meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the same location. The agenda includes requests to:

  • Consider whether or not to recommend designation of a 17.5 mile section of the Nehalem River as a State Scenic Waterway. If recommended, the proposal would move to the Water Resources Commission in February 2019, and if they agree, it goes to Gov. Kate Brown for a final decision.
  • Approve the Wallowa Lake Management Unit Master Plan, which guides recreation use and resource management in two state parks and one state scenic corridor for the next 20 years. If approved, the plan will go to Wallowa County for final approval.
  • Pre-approval of construction contracts that will be awarded later this fall: $722,000 to remodel the North Falls Visitor Center at Silver Falls State Park and $800,000 to improve the septic system at Champoeg State Heritage Area.
  • Approve $2.46 million in Recreational Trails Program grants for 12 projects that provide, improve and maintain recreational trails for both motorized and non-motorized uses.

The draft agenda and meeting packet are listed at bit.ly/nov2018agenda. People who plan to present oral testimony are asked to provide 15 copies of their statement to Commission Assistant Denise Warburton burton@oregon.gov">denise.warburton@oregon.gov. Those needing special accommodations to attend should also contact Warburton by email, or call 503-986-0719, at least three days in advance.

The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission (www.oregon.gov/oprd/Pages/commission.aspx) promotes outdoor recreation and heritage by establishing policies, adopting rules, and setting the budget for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The seven members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. They serve four-year terms and meet several times a year at locations across the state.

Popularity Grows for Shore Acres Holiday Lights - 11/08/18

Oregon’s classic coastal garden will light up for the 32nd annual Holiday Lights at Shore Acres, which kicks off Thanksgiving Day and runs nightly 4-9:30 p.m. through New Year’s Eve.

The event has become a must-see for both local residents and out-of-towners since its 1987 inception. The display has grown from a few strings of lights to include “light sculptures” of pelicans, puffins, jellyfish, a life-size leaping orca whale, butterflies, sea lions, leaping frogs and much more. The historic Garden House is open nightly offering free hot cider, punch, coffee and cookies, and holiday concerts featuring local choirs and musicians are scheduled many nights. A schedule is posted at shoreacres.net.

Park Manager Denice Hardy calls the event’s growing popularity “a wonderful double edged sword.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this beloved holiday event,” she said. “However, dealing with traffic on Cape Arago Highway at peak times isn’t fun for anyone.”

To alleviate congestion that can stack up for 1 ½ hours or longer on dry days and weekends, Oregon State Parks is dangling a small incentive to encourage weekday visits. Park rangers at the entrance booth will randomly select one vehicle each Sunday through Thursday after 3 pm to win an Oregon State Parks branded gift or an annual parking pass valued at $30.

“The giveaway is our way of thanking those who can make a weekday visit work with their schedules,” Hardy said. “We hope this will lead to a better experience for all, every day of the event.”

Park staff also recommend these tips for making the most of this popular holiday tradition:

  • Arrive before 4 pm  to enjoy trails, ocean views, historical displays and the gift center.  Watching the gardens light up as dusk settles to dark is pure magic.
  • Don’t fear the rain. The lights are beautiful no matter the weather.
  • Carpool. Traffic stalls when the parking lot is full, typically by 6 pm.  

Visitors may encounter traffic flaggers on peak nights to help traffic flow and allow access for emergency vehicles.

Shore Acres Holiday Lights has been a tradition since 1987, when the Friends of Shore Acres first decided to string a few lights. Hundreds of volunteers spend six weeks installing lights to prepare for the Thanksgiving opening, and local businesses and organizations decorate the park’s 26 Christmas trees.

The event is free; parking is $5 per vehicle, payable at the booth at the park entrance, 89039 Cape Arago Highway. The parking fee is covered for those who display a valid coastal passport, current OPRD campground receipt, or an OPRD annual parking pass, available at store.oregonstateparks.org or on site at the Information & Gift Center.

Public invited to participate in master plan for Smith Rock State Park (Photo) - 11/07/18

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) invites the public to weigh in on long-term planning for Smith Rock State Park as part of the process of updating the park’s Master Plan. The plan, last updated in 1991, will guide recreation use and resource management for the next 20 years.

The Master Plan update process is currently near the end of the “Concept Development Plan” stage, which outlines infrastructure changes for Smith Rock. OPRD invites park users and community members to review the Concept Development Plan online at smithrockparkplan.com and submit their comments.

Comments will be accepted through Dec. 15, 2018.

The Concept Development Plan is based on feedback received from stakeholders during public meetings held in 2017 and reflects site preservation priorities, parking, trails, facilities and other park amenities improvements. Meeting notes and materials from past public meetings are available online at smithrockparkplan.com.

Comments will be collected and incorporated into the draft Master Plan to be presented summer 2019. A final round of public meetings will be held when the draft plan is released.

Grants available for veterans and war memorials - 11/06/18

Oregon Heritage of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is offering grants for the construction or restoration of veterans and war memorials.


Local governments and federally recognized Tribes are eligible to apply for work on monuments on public owned properties.


New monuments should acknowledge veterans and wars not already recognized in the community.  Grants for restoration may be used for broken monuments, missing elements of monuments, or the related design elements of monuments for veterans or wars. Grants may also fund the addition of elements to existing monuments.


Projects must include the active participation of a veteran organization.


Past funded projects include repair to the Doughboy monument in Astoria, a new monument in Warrenton, and additions to the large memorial in Washington County.


For more information about the Veterans and War Memorials grant and other grant programs, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at i.gill@oregon.gov">Kuri.gill@oregon.gov or 503-986-0685.

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St Paul committed to preserving historic places - 11/02/18

The City of St Paul has committed to preserving its historic places by developing a local preservation program and participating in the federal Certified Local Government (CLG) program.


The city has been officially approved as a CLG, as a part of the program of the National Park Service which is coordinated on the state level by the State Historic Preservation Office. The program requires communities to have a preservation program that includes a board or commission and a process to designate local historic landmarks. Benefits of participation include technical assistance and grant funding. The city already had a historical resources board, so just needed a few revisions to be certified.


St Paul has had a historical resources board for years and has accomplished several preservation successes. The board looks forward to accessing grant funds and inspiration from other CLGs to bring some fresh energy to the program. Shirley Southerland, board chair, is looking forward to new opportunities. “We are thinking of grants to preserve the stories of our historic homes, involve students in historic preservation and assist in the preservation of a few historic structures.”


St Paul is the 54rd local government in Oregon to become a CLG.


For more information about the CLG and other preservation programs, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at i.gill@oregon.gov">Kuri.gill@oregon.gov or 503-986-0685.

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Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission leaders hold listening session Nov. 26 in Nehalem on draft Nehalem River Scenic Waterway management plan (Photo) - 11/01/18

NEHALEM, Ore. – Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commissioners Cal Mukumoto, chair, and Jennifer H. Allen, vice chair, will host a listening session on Nov. 26 in Nehalem, Oregon to hear feedback on a draft management plan for a segment of the Nehalem River being studied as a candidate for the State Scenic Waterway system. The draft plan and a staff report on the scenic waterway candidate will be reviewed by the full Commission November 28, where the body will decide whether to recommend designation to Gov. Kate Brown.

The listening session will be held 4:30 – 6 p.m. at North County Recreation District Office, 36155 Ninth St., Nehalem. Members of the public, especially residents of Tillamook and Clatsop counties, are invited to attend and share their views on the draft management plan.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is evaluating a 17.5 mile segment of the Nehalem River for potential designation by the governor as a State Scenic Waterway. The proposed segment begins at Henry Rierson Spruce Run campground, and ends at the confluence of Cook Creek, near Cougar Valley State Park. The draft management plan and Nov. 28 Commission meeting brief are available online at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/NATRES/scenicwaterways/Pages/index.aspx

OPRD staff will provide an overview of the designation process and the draft management plan at the listening session.  The public will then have an opportunity to speak directly to Commission leaders.   

“Engaging with the public and gathering their feedback is an important part of the designation process,” said Mukumoto, a resident of Coos Bay. “We would like different perspectives about the potential impact of the designation before we make any decisions.”

For additional information about waterway or the meeting, contact Jan Hunt, OPRD Grants & Community Programs manager, at 503-986-0705 or jan.l.hunt@oregon.gov.

Individuals who require special accommodations to attend the meeting must contact Jan Hunt at least three days in advance.

Pilot Butte Summit
Pilot Butte Summit
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department invites public comment on draft mater plan development for Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint (Photo) - 10/31/18

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is accepting public comment on the development of a new draft master plan for Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint in Bend.

Members of the public have several opportunities to learn more about the draft master plan development process and voice their opinions on draft plan development: online, email, mail and two public meetings.

Comments made by email or mail will be accepted until Dec. 20, 2018.

Public meetings:

  • 6 – 8 p.m. Nov. 14 at Willamalane Park and Recreation District Adult Activity Center, Riverview room, 215 W. C St., Springfield.
  • 6 – 8 p.m. Nov. 29 at Bend Park and Recreation District Office, Riverbend room, 779 SW Columbia St., Bend.

The agenda for both meetings will be the same: an overview of the draft master plan development process, information about the park’s current state and an opportunity for public comment.

The public may also attend an upcoming Pilot Butte Master Plan Advisory Committee meeting 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Nov. 30 at Bend Park and Recreation District Office, Riverbend room, 779 SW Columbia St., Bend. Public comments will not be accepted at this meeting.

OPRD park planners will incorporate public feedback into the draft master plan. The initial draft is expected to be completed July 2019.

A park master plan guides the development and use of park facilities. It also provides guidelines for the protection and management of important natural, cultural and scenic resources within the park. Master plans are on a 20-year update cycle and are subject to final approval by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Individuals that require special accommodations to attend the public meetings must contact Rachel Hill, OPRD park planner, at 503-302-5960 at least three days in advance.

Attached Media Files: Pilot Butte Summit
Bend resident appointed to Oregon historic cemeteries commission - 10/31/18


Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director Lisa Sumption has appointed a new member to the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries.


Scott Stuemke, from Bend, has had a long career in the area in the fields of archaeology and historic preservation. He has worked closely with the Tribes with interests in the area as well as federal agencies that manage much of the land.


“I am thrilled to have a new commissioner with such enthusiasm,” stated Kuri Gill, coordinator for the state historic cemeteries program. “This energy combined with the work of the current commissioners will bring some needed attention to historic cemeteries.


The seven-member Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries supports OPRD historic cemetery preservation efforts by offering training, educational resources, coordination and grants. Its other members are Mike Leamy of Astoria and Charlotte Lehan of Wilsonville, Mark Petrie of North Bend, Bev Power of Medford, Milo Reed of Portland, and Sarah Silbernagel of Pendleton.


For more information about the commission and the historic cemeteries program visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Historic Cemeteries Program Coordinator, Kuri Gill at i.Gill@oregon.gov">Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov or (503) 986-0685.

Larry Landis to represent higher education on the Oregon Heritage Commission - 10/30/18

Larry Landis of Corvallis has been selected by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to be its representative on the Oregon Heritage Commission.

The Heritage Commission is comprised of nine voting members that represent Oregon's diverse heritage and nine advisory representatives from state agencies and statewide organizations. As a representative of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Landis will advise Heritage Commission members and staff on perspectives, developments, information and opportunities in the state’s public colleges and universities related to cultural heritage.

Landis serves as the director of the Special Collections and Archives Research Center, a department of the Oregon State University Libraries and Press. He has been an archivist at OSU since early 1991, and much of his work has focused on heritage, particularly the history of OSU, natural resources in Oregon, and underrepresented communities. He authored A School for the People: A Photographic History of Oregon State University (OSU Press, 2015); was part of the leadership team that helped to develop “Oregon State University: A Legacy of Transformation,” the major OSU150 exhibit hosted by the Oregon Historical Society; and played a major role in Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Experience episode on OSU. Landis holds a Master’s degree in history with a minor in archives administration from Texas Christian University.

“We are pleased to work with Larry Landis,” said Beth Dehn, Heritage Commission Coordinator. “He is known for collaborative work that connects Oregon’s public higher education institutions with local historical societies, museums, and public libraries. He will be a strong advisor in helping the Heritage Commission meet the goals of the Heritage Plan.” 

“I have admired and supported the work of Oregon Heritage Commission since its establishment in 1995. The commission has strong ties to higher education in Oregon, particularly through its Oregon Heritage Fellows Program. I look forward to serving on the commission and strengthening its connections to heritage related programs and resources at all of Oregon's public higher education institutions,” noted Landis about his role.

The mission of the Heritage Commission is to secure, sustain, and enhance Oregon's heritage by ensuring coordination of heritage initiatives by public and private organizations; advocacy on its behalf; education of the public about its extent and value; and promotion and celebration of its diversity. For more information, commission coordinator Beth Dehn at 503-986-0696 or eth.Dehn@Oregon.gov">Beth.Dehn@Oregon.gov or visit the Commission’s website at www.oregonheritage.org.

Scenic Bikeway Committee meets Nov. 6 in Salem - 10/23/18

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) Scenic Bikeway Committee will meet 9 – 11 a.m. Nov. 6 in room 124A in the Salem North Mall Office Building, 725 Summer St NE, Salem. The meeting is open to the public.

The only agenda item is a continued discussion about planning for the upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Scenic Bikeways program in Oregon.

The OPRD Scenic Bikeway Committee is an advisory group for the designation and management of Scenic Bikeways in Oregon. The committee’s 11 members include citizen representatives, tourism organizations, local governments and state agencies involved in bicycling recreation or transportation.

More information about existing Scenic Bikeways can be found here.

Individuals that require special accommodations to attend the meeting should contact Nicole Sprecher, OPRD Grants & Community Programs assistant, at least three days in advance: 503-986-0968, nicole.sprecher@oregon.gov.

ATV Advisory Committee meets Nov. 7 in Keizer - 10/19/18

KEIZER, Ore. - Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s (OPRD) All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Advisory Committee will meet 9 a.m. - noon Nov. 7 at Keizer Community Center, 930 Chemawa Road NE, Keizer. The meeting will be open to the public.

On the agenda: review and approval of bylaws; update on the safety education program; review of OHV safety summit; review of vehicle classification and safety; update on ATV’s On Highways bill; update on potential OAR and ORS changes; and election of new committee chair.

The ATV Advisory Committee consists of 17 members who represent various state and federal agencies along with several user groups. Learn more about the Oregon ATV Program at OregonOHV.org

The meeting location is ADA accessible. Individuals that need special accommodations to attend must contact Jeff Trejo, OHV Safety Education Coordinator, at 503-986-0585 or ejo@oregon.gov">jeff.trejo@oregon.gov at least three days in advance.