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.”