The Foundation, Park Ranger, and supporters open the newly replaced Ryan Creek Bridge at Champoeg State Park
For as long as I can remember, my favorite State Park has been Shore Acres State Park, located just outside of Coos Bay. Shore Acres is name given to the oceanfront estate of Louis and Lela Simpson. The Simpsons were shipping and timber magnates in the early twentieth century. The estate had a house and a five-acre formal garden on its 745 acres. In 1921, there was a devastating fire that destroyed the mansion. Twenty years later, the estate was sold to the State and turned into a State Park. The gardens were restored after 1970 and now are decorated with lights every Holiday season. It is now a regional destination, in and out of the holiday season. The park also has spectacular ocean views.
Another favorite State Park of mine is Seven Devils State Recreation Site (pictured above). The wayside, located between Coos Bay and Bandon, gives access to several miles of wild, undeveloped, rugged beach. It is not uncommon to be the only ones on the beach. It is a great place to find all kinds of treasures from the ocean – shells, driftwood, agates, and sometimes even a seal or some fish. The Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is right above a portion of the beach, on the bluffs, so it is not uncommon to find golf balls on the beach too.
My last State Park that I want to highlight is the Coquille Myrtle Grove State Natural Site. The seven-acre State Park was acquired by Save the Myrtlewoods, Inc., in 1950. It contains one of the last large stands of old-growth Oregon myrtle trees. The State Park also includes a swimming hole and a beach on the gently flowing Coquille River. It’s the perfect stop on a warm summer’s day.
By Joshua Friedlein, Oregon State Parks Foundation Administrative Assistant
The Foundation is committed to increasing environmental education, access, and healthy activities in Oregon’s State Parks. I was honored to be able to attend a fundraiser this weekend in Medford for the non-profit group David’s Chair. We are working with them to place electric all-terrain wheelchairs in select State Parks in SW Oregon.
We are proud to partner with this organization that has grown, in just two years, to host over 300 people at their annual fundraising dinner.
I heard so many heartwarming stories about the life-changing impact it has had for people with spinal cord injuries, ALS, Parkinsons and many more mobility-shrinking causes to be able to get outdoors and off the paved paths. As David’s slogan says “NOW I CAN!”
We couldn’t agree more!
The first step is finding volunteers to help with checking out chairs at the State Parks. If you live in SW Oregon and would like more information about volunteering please contact David’s Chair at https://davidschair.org/contact-us/.
We could use your help!
We will post more information as the program develops…stay tuned!
Submitted by guest blogger, Connie Soper, author of Exploring The Oregon Coast Trail
Considered by many as the “crown jewel” of Oregon’s long-distance trails, the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) stretches from the Columbia River in the north to the California border in the south, almost 400 miles later. About half the trail is located on Oregon’s public beaches, while other segments carry hikers over headlands and capes, as well as through some 25 coastal communities. Those who hike the length of the trail will experience most of Oregon’s scenic coastline and can learn first-hand the history and stories of places passed along the way. Although officially declared as a trail over 40 years ago by the State Parks Department, the OCT remains incomplete because some portions of the trail require hikers to walk along the shoulder of US Highway 101.
In 2017, Oregon lawmakers adopted legislation requiring that the State Parks Department complete an Action Plan to identify steps and funding needed to address these gaps. Oregon Solutions (OS), a statewide collaborative problem-solving organization and County Solutions (CS), a county-based problem-solving organization have partnered to assess who and how to engage communities of interest in planning for and improving the OCT, with the ultimate goal of identifying actions needed to complete it. The first phase of the County Solutions effort wrapped up in the summer of 2018 with the assistance of a grant from Travel Oregon. It focused on interviewing key stakeholders as well as documenting key issues, concerns, challenges and opportunities.
The next phase of the project has recently launched, also supported with a Travel Oregon grant. This phase will convene elected officials, government agencies, and organizations that either own segments of current or future Oregon Coast Trail or will play a role in constructing or maintaining the Oregon Coast Trail. Oregon State Parks will also host public open houses to give members of the public an opportunity to share their perspectives and directly engage in helping craft solutions to address identified gaps in the trail.
Visit State Parks website for maps and information about each section of the Oregon Coast Trail.
David Nijhawan, VP and Relationship Manager, and Robert Countryman, Market President, from First Interstate Bank recently presented our Executive Director, Seth Miller, with checks from First Interstate Bank and the First Interstate Bank Foundation to fund 2019 class trips for 3rd-5th graders from Title One Schools in our Ticket2Ride Program.
September 25, 2018 – ReachNow, the mobility services division of the BMW Group, announces $12,500 donations to both the Washington State Parks Foundation and Oregon State Parks Foundation, for a total donation of $25,000 to close out its Wild Within Reach summer campaign.
ReachNow outfitted BMW 3-Series and BMW X1 SAV vehicles in both the Seattle and Portland fleets with respective State Park Day-Use Parking Passes, beginning May 18, 2018. The Wild Within Reach campaign incentivized ReachNow’s more than 100,000 members to use its free-floating car share service to experience the outdoors by offering ReachNow credits and donations to both Washington and Oregon State Parks Foundations.
“We are thrilled with the results of our first Wild Within Reach campaign and the opportunity it has given us to raise awareness of the importance of our beautiful state parks,” said Laura Gonia, head of marketing for ReachNow. “We’re proud that our efforts drove more members than before to experience the parks in our home areas and offered urban communities an avenue to explore their states.”
Big thanks to ReachNow for supporting the Oregon State Parks Foundation!