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Toledo: Trail/bike lane upgrades along East Slope Road

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

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!

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!

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!

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 oregon.gov/OPRD or by calling 800-551-6949

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

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.


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