Unveiling Oregon’s Newest State Park
Cool, damp and windy weather did not stop the Oregon State Parks Commission’s sign unveiling for the new Sitka Sedge State Natural Area this week.
What a tremendous addition to the Oregon State Park system! As a State Natural Area, this State Park is for day-use and does not offer camping, but offers lots of opportunities for solitude, exercise and discovery. A large marsh, which is separated by a dike, divides the salt water and fresh water portions of the marsh. The dike leads to a barrier peninsula protecting the marsh from the ocean. It is expected that the site can support coastal cutthroat salmon, coho salmon, chum salmon, winter-run steelhead, marbeled murrelet, western snowy plover and northern red legged frogs.
The State Park includes six wildlife viewing areas and three miles of trails. The ADA accessible Beltz Dike trail will have two of the wildlife viewing areas when it is complete. As a result, there are many different ecosystems to explore, different animals and birds attracted, and a large variety of spectacular vistas. On clear days, the Park offers views of Cape Lookout to the north and Cape Kiwanda to the south. The State Parks Department plans to have the entrance, parking lot and trails finished for the Memorial Day weekend, when the park will officially open. For birders, flat land hikers and nature lovers, this will be a wonderful place to explore!
The State Park was purchased from the non-profit Ecotrust in 2014 using voter-dedicated Oregon Lottery funds and a National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grant from the U.S. Forest Service. As has been the case since 1998, not a single penny of state taxes were available for acquisition, development or operation of the park.
For more information about the State Park, check out its page on the OPRD web site .
- Seth Miller