Toledo: Trail/bike lane upgrades along East Slope Road

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Dec 272012

Toledo City Hall

It appears that Oregon State Parks and Recreation thinks a lot of Toledo’s idea to better connect East Slope Parks trails to Fir Street and Butler Bridge Road. State Parks and Rec has sent a letter to the city inviting them to apply for a $150,000 grant to build a walkway and bike paths along that portion of East Slope Road.

Toledo Public Works Director Adam Denlinger told his city council that the project meets a lot of state requirements including that there is access to scenic waterways and estuaries along with meeting safety requirements to better protect walkers and bikers where there is no off street protection today.

Denlinger said he will bring the parks and recreation grant application at the council’s first meeting in January.
If the city is approved for the grant, the city will still have to come up with around $30,000 of its own money, money that Denlinger says can be fairly easily through volunteer labor, donated equipment time and materials.

Applications for the grant are due January 17th and if awarded to Toledo the project must be done by September of 2014. Councilor Jack Dunaway chimed in that the East Slope Road corridor is the biggest hole in the Toledo walking and bicycling system.

Denlinger said he will be bringing the request to council at its first meeting in January.

Keeping it in “Park” is sometimes the best way to go

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Oct 122012

Click on photos to enlarge

Park dedication recognizes Mike Miller Park Trail Extension and Land Donation from Landwaves, inc
Story from Casey Miller, Lincoln County Public Information Officer

Due to rain – Mike Miller Park and Wilder Dedication will take place at Oregon Coast Community College Commons Room. 10am. Today.

The public is invited to gather and recognize Will Emery’s contributions , look at maps and photos and explore the new improvements. Refreshments provided. On October 12th at 10 am, Will Emery, owner of Landwaves, Inc. the developer of the Wilder Community near the Oregon Coast Community College, will meet with officials from Lincoln County and the City of Newport to be recognized for his contributions that have helped make possible expansion of and improvements to Mike Miller Park, including additional trails in the surrounding area.

Jim Chambers, Lincoln County Parks Supervisor said “Will’s gifts to Lincoln County, have made it possible to accomplish several goals that were developed by the County 29 years ago. Mr. Emery has donated 5.8 acres of land on the southern boundary of the park that contains a large riparian woodland along with a large pond. He has personally paid for trail development. The Board of Commissioners are recognizing his generosity and partnership by naming one segment of trail as ‘Emery Trail’.”

Chambers continued, “This realizes The Long Range Plan, developed by a Parks Committee created in 1984, which called for expansion of the trail system. This vision has become today’s reality. We are now able to see how Mike Miller Trail will also serve the City of Newport Trail Master Plan and will eventually serve as a connection point for the Corvallis to the Sea Trail.”

Bonnie Serkin, Chief Operating Officer of Landwaves, Inc., says: “South Beach is the future of Newport. One of the visions for that future is of a community where development is balanced with the preservation of open space. We, in Wilder, are doing both. Partnering with Lincoln County on the expansion of Mike Miller Park is part of the fulfillment of Wilder’s commitment to create a built environment that is gentle on the Earth while opening access to a corner of the Earth whose natural beauty can hit you with great force.”

Mike Miller Park was officially dedicated in 1974. The Park was named for Mike Miller after he retired, having served 20 years as a County Judge and later as a County Commissioner. The early years of trail development were accomplished in the mid 70’s by the Youth Conservation Corps. The Youth Conservation Corps was given the task of building the trail in its current location.

The Park was briefly closed to the public in 1988 because of deteriorating condition of some of the bridges. To address this, the County asked the Angell Job Corps for assistance. At the time, the wood bridges were redesigned by the Job Corps and were built by the Job Corps students from the masonry, welders, and carpentry classes. This allowed the Park to be reopened.

Today, the Park’s attractiveness includes various mini eco-systems highlighting the unique forests of the Pacific Northwest: Sitka Spruce, as well as Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir and Coastal Pine trees. The expansion will enhance the woodland nature trail, one of the Park’s main features. Visitors enjoy bridges, observation decks, and benches along the trail and the opportunity to sit and listen to bird calls, watch small animals, and enjoy the beauty of native coastal vegetation.

Will Emery, President of Landwaves, Inc., says: “For us, the expansion of Mike Miller Park, by our gift, is consistent with Wilder’s commitment to green, sustainable building. The Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon Coast Aquarium, South Beach State Park, NOAA, Oregon Coast Community College – all these are aspects of humans integration with the natural world. The addition of the pond to the park makes the habitat more viable and expands the theme of South Beach as a great place to go for a walk in the woods.”

Future improvements are forthcoming. The County has received a Recreational Trails Grant administered by Oregon State Parks. These funds are made available from the Federal Highway Administration and Oregon Department of Transportation. This grant will allow Lincoln County to replace wood decking and rails on the bridges previously built by the Job Corps, replace wood benches that are located in the present park, add new directional signage, and provide for additional trail construction of Emery Trail to the trailhead.

Bonnie Serkin, added: “To connect the Peninsula with the southernmost portions of Newport city limits has been a priority for us in Wilder. The enhanced park improvements make our walkable community part of the larger trail system that both Lincoln County and the City of Newport have been working to establish for years.”

Newport embarks on establishing new park on eastside of town – and it’s a big one!

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Jul 032012

Forest Park (proposed)
Click photo to enlarge

Newport appears well on its way to declaring a large, lushly forested area of town, its newest park. In a process that will take several months, the area east of Big Creek Road, running from the city pool clear up to nearly Big Creek Park, is expected to be named “Forest Park.”

The park is zoned open space and not for development. It’s 77 acre immenseness will likely get a fair smattering of trails and benches for immersing oneself into a thick coastal forested environment.

The proposal is expected to first to be reviewed and approved by the Newport Parks and Recreation Commission, then to the Newport Planning Commission. From there, final approval and designation as a city park will be declared by the Newport City Council.

Community Development Director Derrick Tokos said there will be abundant opportunities for public input every step of the way.

Newport: Coast Park is a big hit with families!

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Mar 272012

Coast Park
Click on photos to enlarge
Judy Mayhew photos

It was a long time in coming but it seems like Newport Parks and Recreation has a huge winner on its hands. You can see that the new Coast Park, complete with a pirate ship on the hill, is really popular with families. Coast Park is located immediately south and east of the Performing Arts Center off West Olive Street. It has a full complement of durable playground equipment, both conventional and novel, as well as a long slide that starts at the pirate ship on the hill all the way down to a soft landing spot on the park’s main level. And of course there’s plenty of benches for the older folks to rest on, after they’ve worn themselves out just looking at all the youthful commotion.

Discussion of Do’s and Don’t on the Oregon Coast tonight in Newport, tomorrow night in Cannon Beach!

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Jan 302012

Jenny Green photo
Oregon Coast – Rules of the Sand

Oregon Parks and Recreation personnel invite everyone to discuss new rules that will soon pertain to what they call “common sense” use of Oregon’s fabulous beaches. All 360 miles of them from Brookings to Astoria. Parks spokesman Chris Havel says there have always been rules in the past but every now and then they update them just to keep them as relevant as possible; to enable everyone’s enjoyment of the coast but with an eye to preserving our beaches and protecting cultural assets that are scattered along it.

Havel says new rules will cover special events like weddings. If it’s just the couple, a minister and a photographer, no problem. No permit required. But when it gets to enough people where you’ve got a gazebo, plastic chairs and a small crowd of people, you’re basically taking over a part of the beach that others now cannot use or enjoy. So Havel says, “please come and talk to us and help us ensure you pick a place that’s good for you as well as others who are visiting the beach.”

The new rules cover other activities like agate collection. A gallon a day per person is likely to be the legal limit. And for agate collectors, you know a gallon a day is very seldom even possible if you’re going for the good stuff. Havel says agates are deposited on the beach by wave action all the time so there is enough for everyone. He says the Parks and Recreation Department definitely discourages commercial collection activities.

Other events like organized jogging marathons or other fundraisers, you’ll need a permit based on the number of entrants. Again, it conflicts with normal beach visitors and his department wants to ensure that the exact layout of the run is least intrusive for regular visitors.

For beach visitors with dogs, you’re expected to keep your dog on a leash, or if off a leash, under your voice control. If you’re dog doesn’t come when you call it, it’s to remain on a leash. And if your dog does “his duty” on the sands, you must have a device such as a plastic bag, to remove the excrement immediately. Same for cats.

Bonfires are allowed, but try to keep them within a “three by three by three” configuration and keep them away from any large piles of driftwood. If you burn pallets, make sure the nails are removed before they’re burned, otherwise, you are required to dig’em out of the sand. Normal campfires are unregulated but don’t leave them unattended. And of course, when done either with a campfire or bonfire, make sure the fire is dead out.

Havel says the rules are meant to be “common sense” understandable. They’re intended to ensure everyone has a good time at the beach. Tonight’s public input meeting at the Newport Recreation Center begins at 7pm. In runs through 9pm. Then tomorrow night the Parks and Recreation Department will wrap up their series of coast public hearings with a final public input meeting at Cannon Beach City Hall, at 163 E. Gower Street, 7pm to 9pm, in Cannon Beach.

Public comment period will remain open until February 6th after which staff and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission will finalize the updated rule book. Formal adoption is expected by early April.

By the way, anyone who is holding any kind of special event on Oregon Beaches can access the rules as they currently exist (and eventually the new ones) on the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department website at or by calling 800-551-6949

Lincoln City Council: Community Center rates going up, but not a lot.

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Jan 112012

Lincoln City Recreation photos

Lincoln City City Councilors and just about everyone Monday night who talked about user rates at the Community Center agreed that the rates are too low. In fact, way too low, especially for the variety of programs offered at the facility. In fact the seniors who testified before the council even encouraged the council to raise rates to that it’s less of a burden on the city budget. City Manager David Hawker said things like swimming pools, and indoor recreation centers never pay their own way but are, in fact, a major ingredient of a community’s quality of life. But he adds recreation centers should be priced high enough to reasonably maintain the facility but low enough to make it accessible to all income levels.

The council agreed with him and adopted a new fee schedule for the community center and swimming pool. Rate increases are nominal. For example Youth Swim under 18 general admission will rise from $1.75 to $2.00. Adult General Admission rises from $3.50 to $5.00, and for Adult Resident Discount it rises from $2.75 to $3.00. For Senior General Admission, it rises from $3.25 to $4.00 and for Senior Resident Discount it rises from $2.25 to $2.50.

The council said they the new rates will take effect March 1st. They said they’ll review the income at the community center possibly next September to see if a significant number stopped using it. They’ll also be examining the community center’s overall income to see if it trends upward, thereby lessening it’s strain on the city’s general fund.

Whither Sand Point Park?

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Dec 132011

Devils Lake Water Improvement District photo

During this week’s Lincoln City City Council meeting, City Manager David Hawker said that there are a lot of park maintenance challenges for the city that they intend to meet over the next few years. But one park they may consider walking away from includes Sand Point Park on the east shore of Devil’s Lake; clearly outside the Lincoln City city limits.

Hawker said Sand Point Park is very much out of their way to maintain and so the city council should be aware of that fact. Hawker said that they’re not sure who exactly uses the park. He said “If it isn’t residents or tourists, there would be no reason for us to maintain it. We could thereby put our parks maintenance dollars to better use elsewhere.”

Hawker said he would give the city council a follow up report on Sand Point Park in the near future. He added that “Sand Point Park has never been the city’s #1 park maintenance priority, but it isn’t dead either.”

Newport to get heavy pitch to “Ban the Bag” tonight….

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Oct 172011

Newport City Councilors tonight are expected to get a heavy pitch from The Surfrider Association and others to ban single-use plastic shopping bags. Ban supporters contend that plastic bags are clogging up our landfill machinery, our storm drains, it’s killing wildlife on land and sea and is a visual blight on the landscape.

During an earlier Newport City Council session, certain councilors asked The Surfrider Association to see if they could drum up support among townspeople and businesses most affected by such a ban. In response, association members have gathered petitions in support of a plastic bag ban.

The city of Portland triggered a ban on single-use plastic bags over the weekend. A similar “ban the bag” bill, having statewide authority, died during the last legislature under heavy lobbying by the plastic bag industry (none of which exists in Oregon) and certain grocery store interests.

The Newport City Council will take public testimony on the issue during its regular twice a month meeting tonight, which begins at 6pm. No final decision on the request to ban plastic bags will be made tonight. The agenda item says “public hearing” only. A decision may come later. The council will also talk about a proposed revision to the city’s hotel-motel room tax ordinance and the city’s “adopt a park” proposal. The council meets tonight, 6pm, City Hall, at Coast Highway and Avery.

In this case, half a loaf is pretty darn nice. Strome Park expands by 74 acres for just $42,500.

 Parks, Siletz  Comments Off on In this case, half a loaf is pretty darn nice. Strome Park expands by 74 acres for just $42,500.
Jun 102011

Strome Park, 10 miles north of Siletz
Photos Courtesy: LC Parks

Although landowner Walter Brown wanted to give it all to the people of Lincoln County in memory of his beloved wife Barbara, his sons questioned whether “all of it” was the appropriate amount for his father to give. After lengthy discussions and negotiating, Mr. Brown, in his 80’s, was determined to need a conservator for his estate and, and to reflect the wishes of his family, only 74 of his 184 acres of land, some of it fronting on the Siletz River, will be donated to the county, to add onto Strome Park. The cost to the county: $25,000 for a conservation easement over 14 acres of the 74 and $17,500 for the Brown family’s attorney fees. Ownership of the 14 acres will be conveyed to the county upon the death of Mr. Brown.

Lincoln County Commissioners this week declared the agreement between themselves and the Brown family a tremendously discounted conveyance to the county because of Mr. Brown’s deep commitment to the people of Lincoln County and to the memory of his departed wife. Commissioners indicated that the land, which largely surrounds Strome Park ten miles north of Siletz, will be left in its natural state for all to enjoy whether to hike, fish or photograph wildlife.

Ensuring we properly protect Beaver Creek Natural Area, just south of Newport off Hwy 101

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May 272011

Video Courtesy: Oregon State Parks

Beaver Creek Natural Area south of Newport was recently established as a nature treasure of the Central Coast for its unique combination of habitats for wildlife on land, sea, lake, stream and in the air. Discussions surrounding how best to protect Beaver Creek from human intrusion have been ongoing between state and federal wildlife and water quality control experts.

The Mid-Coast Watersheds Council will be getting an update on the master planning for Beaver Creek by listening to reports by Oregon State Parks and the U.S. Geological Survey. Here’s the release from MCWC:

Glen Hess, Surface Water Technical Specialist with The US Geological Survey will give a presentation titled “Update on Oregon State Parks and USGS study of Beaver Creek” at the June meeting of the MidCoast Watersheds Council. The meeting will be Thursday, June 2, at 6:30 PM at the Central Lincoln PUD.

The USGS has been working with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) staff on a year-long study of the hydrology and water quality of lower Beaver Creek, in the area from the new Beaver Creek State Natural Area to Ona Beach State Park. This study will help inform OPRD’s current efforts to develop management plans for the Natural Area and for their other new acquisitions in the Ona Beach/Beaver Creek area.

Beaver Creek has been recognized as extremely important habitat for the listed Oregon Coast Coho Salmon, and also provides habitat for Winter Steelhead and Cutthroat Trout. Ona Beach State Park and the new Beaver Creek State Natural Area, together with the large marsh owned by The Wetlands Conservancy, provide critical wintering habitat for juvenile Coho Salmon, as well as habitat for a wide variety of other wildlife. The purpose of OPRD’s planning effort is to develop plans that integrate restoration of the marshes and protection and enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat with compatible recreation opportunities. The Watersheds Council is working with OPRD and The Wetlands Conservancy to provide opportunities for community input into the planning process.

The MidCoast Watersheds Council is a local nonprofit group dedicated to restoration and protection of watersheds in the central coast area, in the context of healthy local communities. Recent restoration projects have included the Lint Slough estuarine marsh restoration, riparian restoration through fencing and tree planting, restoration of stream habitat by large wood placement, and passage improvement for salmon by replacing barrier culverts. The Council provides a forum to the community for discussion of issues related to economic and environmental health. The Council also has an extensive program of natural resource education in Lincoln County schools and in summer.

The Council meets the first Thursday of each month, at 6:30 PM, at the Central Lincoln PUD in Newport. The PUD is located at 2129 North Coast Highway in Newport, across the highway from Safeway.

The Presentation will be followed by a business meeting. Light snacks will be served.

Wilder Developer Will Emery donates nearly six acres for new nature area near OCCC.

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May 182011

[stream provider=video base=x:/ flv=emery.360p.flv img=emery.jpg hd=emery.720p.flv mp4=emery.iPhone.m4v embed=false share=false width=560 height=315 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=med autostart=false /]

Will Emery (Left), Landwaves, Inc. Jim Chambers (Right), Lincoln County Parks

Provided by Lincoln County Commission
Casey Miller, Public Information Officer

Wilder developer and Landwaves owner Will Emery Wednesday proposed donating 5.8 acres southwest of Oregon Coast Community College for use as a nature area and for a pathway southwest from the college, next to Mike Miller Park, to connect eventually to a large estuary to the south. Emery said it’s his vision, which is shared by others, that there someday be a hiking path from the Hatfield Marine Science Center, through the college, through Mike Miller Park and down to South Beach State Park. He said he’s negotiating with Newport Parks and Recreation folks who are excited about being a part of the plan and have helped to build part of the pathway already.

The new pathway through Will Emery’s property will entail two pedestrian bridges to allow hikers and walkers to cross over creeks and streams. Mr. Emery also committed to making a cash donation toward them. A very pleased Lincoln County Commission agreed to a memorandum of agreement between the county and Landwaves. Development of the overall hiking trail will proceed this Summer.

County Commission Chair Terry Thompson, an avid life-long runner, said the path will be a welcome addition to opportunities for runners. Commissioner Don Lindly said the path will allow visitors and locals alike to enjoy seeing wildlife up close, especially bald eagles and herons. Commissioner Bill Hall said he recalls that plans for such a trail or recreation area in that part of South Beach was always envisioned among the townspeople. Hall said, “Former Newport City Manager Don Davis always told me that when the right idea meets the right people with the right resources, things happen.” Hall said “This is one of those projects. It took some time, but it’s finally here.”

Deep maintenance coming up at Heceta Head Lighthouse, south of Yachats

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May 142011

Provided by Oregon Parks and Recreation, Sue Licht, right

All access to the Heceta Head Lighthouse will close to the public for approximately 8 weeks beginning Aug. 1, 2011. The US Forest Service (USFS) and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) are partnering to improve the west parking lot and the uneven, erosion-prone half-mile trail leading to the lighthouse. The east parking lot will also close to serve as a staging area for the project contractor. The USFS and OPRD are partnering on the project because the work occurs on lands owned by both.

The project will reshape and repave the west parking lot to improve drainage and repair erosion damage, chronic problems at the site. A new sidewalk leading to the beach will improve accessibility to the beach. Trail rehab work includes installing culverts and shifting parts of the trail into the hillside, a safety move to counter severe erosion. New benches and interpretive signs will be added to the trail, and the trail surface at the lighthouse will be improved.

The historic assistant lighthouse keeper’s house, which the USFS operates through a concessionaire as a B&B, will remain open, although parking will be limited.

Although the parking lot and trail project is expected to take 4-8 weeks, much of the work depends on the weather. The project is scheduled for late summer and early fall to take advantage of warmer and drier conditions. The project is funded by a federal highway enhancement grant.

The project is the first phase in a major renovation at the site. Restoration and preservation work on the crumbling 1894 Heceta Head Lighthouse is also scheduled to begin in August, 201l. The timeline for the lighthouse work depends on the awarding of a restoration contract, tentatively scheduled for June. The lighthouse will close for the entirety of its restoration work (as long as two years), but the parking lots and trail will reopen as soon as work on them is complete, probably by September 30, 2011.

Fido and Missey are welcome at many Oregon campsites, including Beverly Beach!

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Mar 282011

Beverly Beach State Park, Courtesy Oregon State Parks

Dogs and cats can soon take naps in 20 yurts and 13 cabins in Oregon state parks. Provided by Oregon State Parks

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will accept yurt and cabin reservations April 1 from customers with furry friends for stays starting Jan. 1, 2012. The pet friendly accommodations are located in 21 parks, at least one in almost every region of the state.

The expanded number of yurts and cabins that allow pets comes on the heels of a successful pilot program at three campgrounds. Since May 2009 a few yurts and cabins at South Beach, Stub Stewart and LaPine have allowed campers of the four-legged variety. A yurt at South Beach, a cabin at Stub Stewart and two cabins at LaPine remain open to reservations for stays this year.

“The experiment confirmed that a demand existed for pet friendly yurts and cabins,” said OPRD Recreation Programs Manager Richard Walkoski. “We’re responding to that demand, while remaining conscious of the preferences and needs of other campers.” Pets are allowed only in those yurts and cabins designated as pet friendly.

Pet-designated yurts and cabins may be reserved only by calling Reservations Northwest at 1-800-452-5687. Online reservations are not available. At least one pet friendly yurt or cabin at each park will be ADA accessible. A $10 per night pet fee (non-refundable) on top of the daily rate will be charged. A limit of two pets is allowed each night. Pets are defined as cats and dogs. Continue reading »

While contracting costs are lower, Lincoln County moves to improve county parks.

 Parks, Siletz River  Comments Off on While contracting costs are lower, Lincoln County moves to improve county parks.
Mar 162011

Jack Morgan Park, near Siletz

Lincoln County Commissioners are going after a number of state grants to attempt to forge ahead on a number of county park projects while construction costs are lower than they’ve been in years.

They’ve applied for a grant to install a 2,000 gallon water tank to better regulate water for campground and visitor use at Jack Morgan Park on the Siletz River. Also, to improve the park’s boat and kayak launch, which needs an overhaul. Instead of asphalt it will be changed to concrete. If the grant is given, construction could occur in 2012.

Another grant the commission went after involves Moonshine Park up Logsden Road out of Siletz where they want to replace the park’s shower facilities, as well as replace the septic tank system and install a new pump.

And they’re seeking permission from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to allow the county to improve fishing and boating access to a spot on the Siletz River at milepost 20.5. It’s long been a boat access point but not an official one. If ODFW agrees to the deal, and we’re told there is a good chance it will, the county would lease the property for free and build a small boat launch device; something short of a full blown boat ramp.

Devils Lake State Park Campground closed Dec. 1 through May 1.

 Daily News, Parks  Comments Off on Devils Lake State Park Campground closed Dec. 1 through May 1.
Nov 152010

Provided by Oregon State Parks

Devil’s Lake State Park’s campground in Lincoln City will close Dec. 1 for restroom construction. It will not reopen until May 1, 2011.

Contractors will be building two restroom-shower buildings, replacing structures that have been in service since the early 1960s. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department lottery fund dollars will pay the combined $595,000 construction cost.

Usually open all year, the campground has 87 sites and 10 yurts on the northwest shore of Devil’s Lake off U.S. Highway 101 at 1452 NE 6th Drive. Beverly Beach State park, seven miles north of Newport, and Cape Lookout State Park, 36 miles north of Lincoln City, are the closest state park alternatives that offer year-round camping. ###

Lincoln City City Council wraps around Head to Bay, taxing VRD’s and learned about the plight of too many Lincoln County children.

 Parks, Special Events  Comments Off on Lincoln City City Council wraps around Head to Bay, taxing VRD’s and learned about the plight of too many Lincoln County children.
Nov 082010

Lincoln City City Council, Monday night

It’s been a long haul for Lincoln City to complete as much as it has on “The Head to the Bay Trail.” And Monday night the city council decided to apply for two more major grants in order to finish another major portion of it.

Right now the Head to Bay Trail is somewhat confined to the northern reaches of Lincoln City, a long way from Siletz Bay, it’s proposed terminus. The council last night told the city staff to apply for two ODOT “flex grants” that would help tie together the segmented trail as it navigates the north end area of Devil’s Lake, and then bring it down to 22nd Street. Both grants, part of which would construct an expensive trailway “boardwalk” across sensitive wetlands, would make the northern end more or less complete. So now, the council waits to see if it qualifies for the $800,000 + grant application decisions. Full completion of the Head to Bay Trail is expected to take at least another 8 to 10 years under current economic conditions.

Continue reading »

Planning the future of the Beaver Creek Nature Area and expanded Ona Beach Park

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Oct 262010

Some Central Coast folks who love Oregon’s great outdoors gathered at the CLPUD public meeting room Tuesday night to help chart a future for the recently acquired Beaver Creek Nature area and the latest expansion of Ona State Park right next door, off Highway 101.

All 900+ acres are being planned by Oregon State Parks to be preserved but also to be used by the recreating public. Some said most of it will visited by local Oregonians rather than tourists from out-of-town who come to the coast mainly to see the beach.

All manner of wildlife in the air, on the ground and in the water live in the Beaver Creek area. One outdoorsman characterized the Beaver Creek Nature Area as a powerfully productive area that overwhelms the mind and the soul of everyone who walks through it.

Parks officials said they have already established a visitors center just off North Beaver Creek Road. It’s an old farm house filled with interpretive materials to give hikers, bicyclists and kayakers a detailed understanding of the beauty and wildness around them. A number of trails that were sculpted throughout the area still remain. However, some in the audience Tuesday night wondered if there weren’t too many of them, tempting too many visitors to “love the area to death.” Parks officials wrote down the comment and promised to analyze the impact of placing some trails off limits, thereby allowing the forest and the marshes to reclaim them.

Parks officials also outlined tentative plans to create a new campground tucked away at the foot of a hill within the 500+ acre expanded Ona Beach State Park. It would lie well west of Beaver Creek and would have no direct connection to it. Parks officials said camping along the Oregon Coast has become so popular, there aren’t nearly enough camp sites to handle the demand. A new “tent-only” campsite at Ona Beach, they claim, would help.

However, a couple of members of the audience suggested that if the area gets to be too popular, it might be necessary to require access permits so too many people don’t trample the place down. Parks officials tells News Lincoln County that they do not have a policy on access permits but through enforced limited parking they can manage the number of visitors in any given area.

Meanwhile, others criticized the Parks Department’s eagerness to include not only the aforementioned visitors center but also the large campground as already in the plan. They complained it appears that much of the area’s future has already been pre-planned without seeking any guidance or advice from local environmental protection groups, private landowners, or local residents. Parks officials quietly wrote the comments on the board and then re-stated their commitment to include the groups and the public in all future public meetings aimed at improving the plan. And they defended their decisions on the visitors center and campground as necessary to the mission of state parks to educate the public and to provide camping opportunties where appropriate.

Parks officials announced that they will spend the next year gathering information on Beaver Creek and Ona Beach areas while working closely with local stakeholders, environmental groups as well as state and federal agencies. In the Fall of 2011 they will report back to the community with a draft master plan. The plan will then be subjected to further environmental review and public scrutiny.

Which “future” to pick for the new Beaver Creek State Park

 Parks  Comments Off on Which “future” to pick for the new Beaver Creek State Park
Oct 242010

No sooner had the dedication ribbon been cut and the cheering subsided that Oregon State Parks was scheduling its first of many public meetings over the future of the Oregon’s newest state park, Beaver Creek State Park and Nature Area, near Ona Beach.

Just a few minutes drive south of Newport off Highway 101, Beaver Creek State Park is a gorgeous and awe-inspiring addition to Oregon’s Park System, with a wildlife-rich estuary, hiking and wildlife observation paths, and a launch facility for kayaks and canoes. However, the park’s 160 acres of near-pristine Oregon waterway will soon be supplemented with another nearly six hundred acre addition of upland forest lands that stretch to the south of Beaver Creek east of Seal Rock. These lands are being considered for additional camping to help take pressure off other heavily used state campgrounds up and down the coast.

However, camping within Beaver Creek State Park will likely lean more toward primitive tent camping. No R/V’s or other mechanized camping “bring alongs” are contemplated, according to State Parks planner John Allen. Allen also said plentiful trails are contemplated to accommodate hikers, horse riders and bicyclists.

All this is expected to take a goodly amount of time to plan and eventually create. The first public workshop to chart the future of the Beaver Creek Nature Area and State Park is scheduled for Tuesday, October 26th, 6pm, at the Central Lincoln People’s Utility District public meeting room on north Coast Highway in Newport. All are invited to bring their ideas and share them with state park officials. For more info, call John Allen at 541-265-8179.

Siletz area getting Lincoln County Park Upgrades

 Parks, Recreation, Siletz  Comments Off on Siletz area getting Lincoln County Park Upgrades
Sep 222010

Jack Morgan Park-left, Moonshine Park-below

Lincoln County Commissioners, meeting in joint session with the Siletz City Council Wednesday evening, voted to accept a couple of sizeable state grants that will go toward improvements to Jack Morgan County Park north of Siletz off Highway 229, and to Moonshine Park, off Logsden Road to Moonshine Park Road, east of Siletz. Improvements to Jack Morgan Park include water well improvements with an addition of a 2,000 gallon fresh water tank. Parks Supervisor Jim Chambers told the commissioners that the tank will store enough water that the pumps won’t have to run so much while giving water longer contact with chlorine in the tank to keep it safe for use by park visitors. Improvements to Moonshine Park are mainly for a new septic tank drain field. The old drain field, that was installed in the early ’70’s, is partially plugged up. The grant will pay to rip out the old, and put in a new tank and drain field. It will provide better drainage so the rest room showers can operate more effectively.

Chambers said both projects will be complete by late next spring.

Big addition to Oregon Coast natural area coming on line October 1st, with even more land and a new campground to eventually go with it.

 Parks, Recreation  Comments Off on Big addition to Oregon Coast natural area coming on line October 1st, with even more land and a new campground to eventually go with it.
Sep 192010

Beaver Creek Natural Area

Oregon Lottery funds have again produced another jewel of acquired natural area for public use just seven miles south of Newport. But to sweeten the news a little more, it appears that the newly acquired Beaver Creek Natural Area will be more than doubled in size with the acquisition of an additional 583 acres of timberland that will soon provide for the first new campground along the coast in nearly forty years.

The story comes from Lori Tobias in the Oregonian: