Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
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News Releases
Public invited to comment on federal preservation grant award in Astoria - 04/16/21

The City of Astoria received a grant through the federal Historic Preservation Fund, administered by Oregon State Historic Preservation Office to fund the following local preservation project.

1067 Duane - Install new awning reflective of the original based on historic photos.

This notice serves to make the public aware of the projects and solicit comments pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The comment period is open for 30 days from the date of this announcement. To provide comments or learn more information about this project visit the federal grant public comment section of our website or contact Kuri Gill at i.Gill@oregon.gov">Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov or 503-986-0685.

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 authorizes a program of federal matching grants, known as the Historic Preservation Fund, to assist the various states in carrying out historic preservation activities. The Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and in Oregon, is administered through the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. For information about the grants contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail: i.Gill@oregon.gov">Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov.

Limited Camping at Detroit Lake State Recreation Area reopens April 20; Book reservations starting April 19 - 04/15/21

DETROIT — Limited camping at Detroit Lake State Recreation Area will reopen April 20 after being closed since September 2020 due to damage from the Santiam Canyon wildfires, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) announces. Visitors will be able to reserve some campsites up to six months in advance starting at 6 a.m. April 19 for all stays April 20 and beyond.

Sites will open according to the following timeline:

  • April 20: Loops F & G
  • May 28: Loops A, B, and part of Loops C and D
  • June 18: Loops E, H and the rest of C Loop

Some sites are still closed to public use.

Reservations can be made from one day to six months in advance starting at 6 a.m. April 19 through OPRD’s partner site, oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com, or by calling 800-452-5687.

Detroit Lake State Recreation Area was in the eye of the Santiam Canyon wildfires, but the park sustained far less damage than the nearby resort town of Detroit.

“For the most part, visitors won’t notice anything different from previous years,” said Park Manager Bob Rea.

The park remained closed while staff cleared burned vegetation and repaired a damaged water tank. Rea plans to replace the tank in the fall.

“Restoring drinking water soon as possible was our top priority,” he said. “I’m confident our water tank will carry us through the busy summer season.”

Located in the Cascade Mountains, Detroit Lake State Recreation Area offers nearly 300 campsites on the shore of a forest-ringed reservoir. More information about the park is on the Oregon State Parks official website at stateparks.oregon.gov.

Visitors should continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocols while visiting state parks: limit the size of gatherings, wear face coverings, give space to others and wash hands often. For more information on what to expect while visiting state parks during the pandemic, visit the Oregon State Parks COVID-19 FAQ page.

Some Oregon State Parks group facilities opening to reservations April 15 - 04/13/21

SALEM, Oregon – Limited reservable group camping and reservable group day-use areas in some parks will open to reservations April 15 for stays beginning May 1 and beyond.  Reservation availability will roll out between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. A list of parks and opening reservable group facilities is available on the Oregon State Parks website.

Group size limits will be temporarily reduced to 25 visitors for each open area, which is a change to the 50-200 visitor limit based on normal site capacity. The group limit is part of the overall Oregon Health Authority and Center for Disease Control guidelines to lessen the spread of COVID-19 and our commitment to help local communities during the pandemic. 

“Summer is quickly approaching and we want to give visitors plenty of time to plan their group events,” says Jason Resch, Communications manager for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. “Although we can’t open all group areas in all parks and the lower group limits isn’t what we are used to, we ask for your patience as we move forward.”

Hiker/biker camping areas are also opening statewide. A list of parks and opening hiker/biker areas is also available at the  Oregon State Parks website. Hiker/biker sites are first-come, first-served.

The group facilities are reopening after being closed for more than a year due to revenue shortfalls and reduced staffing associated with COVID-19. For questions, call the Oregon State Parks Information Center at 1-800-551-6949, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Park visitors should continue to follow safety protocols while visiting state parks: limit the size of gatherings, wear face coverings, give space to others and wash hands often. For more information on what to expect while visiting state parks, visit the Oregon State Parks COVID-19 FAQ page.

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2021 Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards Announced - 04/13/21

Individuals, organizations, and projects that have made outstanding contributions to preserving Oregon heritage will receive Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards.

Awards recognize action taken to preserve and share Oregon’s heritage over and above the call of duty. “The award recipients represent individuals, organizations, and projects that serve as inspiration and models for preserving Oregon’s stories,” said Katie Henry, coordinator for the Oregon Heritage Commission. “This year has been especially tough for everyone, including Oregon’s heritage organizations, and being able to celebrate these heritage wins is critical as we hopefully move towards recovery.”

The recipients are:

-- Bobbie Dolp, Salem, for her dedicated work in establishing the Lord & Schryver Conservancy and preserving the legacy of Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver who established the first women-owned landscape architecture firm in the Northwest.

-- Caples House Museum Restoration Project, Columbia City, for extraordinary fundraising efforts resulting in the restoration of the National Register listed Caples House Museum preserving not only the structure but also the museum collection inside of it. 

-- University of Oregon’s Eugene Lesbian Oral History Project, Eugene, for documenting and preserving the contributions of the Eugene lesbian community to Oregon’s enduring cultural, political, and social innovations.

-- Johnny Edwards*, Yamhill County, for his holistic and passionate approach to the preservation of the historic Lafayette and McMinnville Masonic Cemeteries.

-- Steven Greif, Coos Bay, for his dedicated volunteer service that has contributed to the growth and community impact of the Coos History Museum.

-- The Darcelle Project, Portland, a multi-dimensional project that preserves and honors the story of Walter Cole, also known as Darcelle, and his achievements as an entrepreneur, performer, Portland icon, and activist for the LGBTQ community.  

-- University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement, Eugene, for their contributions in supporting community heritage preservation efforts through research, the RARE Americorps program, and disaster resilience planning. 

*Sally Donovan Award for Historic Cemetery Preservation

The Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards are a project of Oregon Heritage, part of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. This year’s awards will be presented in conjunction with the Oregon Heritage Summit on April 29, 2021. The event has been moved to a virtual platform in response to COVID-19 meeting restrictions. During the Summit, videos of the award winning projects will be debuted and award winners will be able to do a live, virtual acceptance of the award. The videos can be accessed at www.oregonheritage.org following the event.

For more information, contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or i.gill@oregon.gov">kuri.gill@oregon.gov

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Rule Advisory Committee meets to discuss proposed changes to recreation grants - 04/12/21

SALEM, Oregon — Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has formed a committee to review proposed changes to a federal grant program that funds outdoor recreation projects.

A Rule Advisory Committee will meet virtually April 19 to review and discuss proposed changes to the grant rules for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF grants are available for local jurisdictions to acquire or develop outdoor recreation facilities. OPRD administers the federally funded grant program.

The meeting starts at noon and is open to the public.  Anyone wishing to view the public meeting will need to register via https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GVHmqTT7ToWIqGs1LQ_GaA.

After the committee review, the rule will open for public comment. Details will be posted on the OPRD Proposed OPRD Rules web page.

The meeting agenda will include discussions about proposed rule changes, including updating defined terms; expanding applicant eligibility to include public educational institutions; raising the minimum federal share on a project; and expanding the organizations from which OPRD can seek nominations for membership to the grant advisory committee. The committee will also discuss any financial or economic effects of the proposed rules on local governments or other applicants.

OPRD appointed committee members from statewide recreation, local government and education interests.

The LWCF typically awards about $1.5 million to qualified projects every other year. More information is on the LWCF web page: oregon.gov/oprd/GRA/Pages/GRA-lwcf.aspx.

Individuals who require special accommodations to view the meetings should contact Katie Gauthier at least three days in advance of the meeting at 503-510-96 78 or katie.gauthier@oregon.gov.

Historic cemeteries commission to meet April 23 - 04/08/21

The Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries will meet via online meeting on April 23 at 1:00 p.m. The agenda includes discussion of historic cemetery legislation, update of online materials, and other updates. The meeting is open to the public and the agenda includes an opportunity for public comment. 

State law established the seven-member Commission to maintain a listing of all historic cemeteries and gravesites in Oregon; promote public education on the significance of historic cemeteries; and help obtain financial and technical assistance for restoring, improving and maintaining their appearances. For more information about commission activities, contact coordinator Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail at i.gill@oregon.gov">kuri.gill@oregon.gov.

Special accommodations for the meeting – including translation services – may be made by calling (503) 986?0690 at least 72 hours prior to the start of the meeting.

For call-in details and the agenda or more information about the commission, visit www.oregonheritage.org.

State Parks accepting public comments on adopting Pilot Butte Master Plan - 04/06/21

BEND, Oregon — Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is in the final stage of approving a Master Plan for Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint in Deschutes County. The agency is accepting public comments through May 7 on the next step: approving the plan and adopting it into rule. The plan guides recreation use and resource management for the next 20 years.

Full text of the plan is available on OPRD’s planning web page: oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/Pages/PLA-park-master-plans.aspx  

The plan details current natural and cultural resource conditions, outdoor recreation trends and how to balance recreation and resource protection. It sets priorities for the next two decades, such as adding or improving trails, parking, facilities and signs.

Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. May 7, and can be made online, in writing or via email:

After reviewing public comments, agency staff will present a final amended rule for consideration by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission at its June 2021 business meeting.

The master planning process began in 2018 with a series of public meetings in Bend. The final plan considers feedback gathered during the public comment process. The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the draft plan in June 2020. Deschutes County then reviewed the plan for compatibility with their comprehensive plans and zoning codes.

This 141-acre urban park in east Bend features seven miles of trails that wind around an extinct volcano, leading up to a stunning 360° view of Bend and the Cascade Range. The viewpoint became part of Oregon’s public lands in 1927.

New ADA Transition Plan will guide Oregon State Parks improvement projects - 04/01/21

A new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan guides Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) in removing physical barriers to park access over the next 25 years.

The ADA Transition Plan identifies barriers to parks and park programs for people with disabilities, and provides a roadmap for removing them. Identified barriers range from inaccessible picnic areas and restroom facilities to parking lots with limited accessible parking. The plan calls for remediation efforts to begin in July 2021.   

 “OPRD has already made great strides in providing access for people with disabilities, but there’s much more to be done,” said ADA Coordinator Helena Kesch. “The ADA Transition Plan moves the agency forward in improving parks so people with disabilities can enjoy them to the fullest. This aligns us with the law, and it’s also the right thing to do.”

In the process of creating this plan, OPRD surveyed 273 unique facilities and identified 4,872 individual barriers, then grouped them into categories defined by the level of complexity and cost. The agency posted a draft plan and solicited public comment Jan. 11 – Feb. 15, with options to comment online, by mail, by email, or through a virtual hearing.

The final plan is posted on OPRD’s Accessibility and Inclusion page at oregon.gov/oprd. People may also request a printed copy by contacting Kesch by mail, phone or email:

Helena Kesch, OPRD ADA Coordinator
725 Summer St NE, Ste. C
Salem, OR 97301
Telephone: 503-881-4637
Email: Helena.Kesch@oregon.gov
TTY: 1-800-551-6949

Recreational Trails Program accepting grant applications through June 15 for motorized and non-motorized tail projects - 04/01/21

The Recreational Trails Program is accepting grant applications through June 15 for the 2021 grant cycle. The federally funded reimbursement grant program provides matching grants to construct, expand or improve public trails for motorized and non-motorized use.

Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent via oprdgrants.org by April 30, and applications are due June 15.

An optional webinar is set 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. April 15 to provide information on the program and how to navigate the application process. Register at the Recreational Trails Program web page.

Approximately $1.6 million in grant funds are available for land or easement acquisitions, safety and education, trail assessment for accessibility or maintenance construction, heavy restoration, trailhead facilities and water trails.

The grant program is open to local governments, park districts, state and federal agencies, Tribal governments, other public land managers and nonprofits.

The Recreational Trails Program is funded through the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). Since 1993, the program has funded over 500 projects across Oregon.

Information about the program, including the grant manual, application instructions and program schedule, is on the Recreational Trails Program web page.

Questions can be directed to Jodi Bellefeuille, Recreational Trails Program Coordinator, at ellefeuille@oregon.gov">jodi.bellefeuille@oregon.gov or 503-856-6316.

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission meets April 13-14 via conference call - 03/31/21

SALEM, Oregon — The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will convene April 13-14 via conference call.

On April 13, commissioners will attend a virtual work training session from 9-10:30 a.m.

On April 14, commissioners will convene an executive session at 8:30 a.m. to discuss real estate and legal issues. Executive sessions are closed to the public. A business meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and will be open to the public.

Anyone may listen to the business meeting; instructions on how to attend will be posted on the commission web page prior to the meeting. The agenda also includes a time for public comment. Registration is required to speak at the meeting, and is available online at bit.ly/registeraprilcommission. Time per speaker is limited to three minutes. Please submit written public comments by 5 p.m. April 12 to is.havel@oregon.gov">chris.havel@oregon.gov.

The full agenda and supporting documents are posted on the commission web page. Notable requests:

  • Approve plans to solicit bids for a forest thinning project at Silver Falls State Park to improve safety and forest health on 103 acres (about 1 percent of the park’s 9,000 acres). The ground-based logging operation will remove pockets of fire-damaged trees that burned in the 2020 Beachie Fire, as well as remove trees around the youth camp buildings and area where volunteer park hosts camp.
  • Accept a $70,000 donation from View the Future to replace a temporary bridge along the Oregon Coast Trail near Yachats.
  • Adopt amendments to OAR 736-024-0015 that restrict motor vehicles on two sections of beach in southern Tillamook County.
  • Distribute $9.3 million in grant funding to 35 applicants that qualify for the All-Terrain Vehicle Grant Program.
  • Approve a rule that would create an advisory council to the Office of Outdoor Recreation.

Anyone needing special accommodations to join the meeting should contact Denise Warburton, commission assistant, at least three days in advance: denise.warburton@oregon.gov or 503-986-0719. People who plan to present oral testimony are asked to email a copy of their statement to Warburton in advance.

The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission promotes outdoor recreation and heritage by establishing policies, adopting rules and setting the budget for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The seven members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. They serve four-year terms and meet several times a year at locations across the state.

State historic cemeteries commission seeks members - 03/26/21

The Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries is seeking one new member each for positions in coastal and central Oregon.

The Commission is seeking members with knowledge related to, or interest in, cemeteries, historic preservation, genealogy, cultural and burial practices of ethnic groups found in Oregon, landscape and native plants, and history.

The Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries is comprised of seven citizens and is empowered by the Legislature to develop and maintain a listing of all historic cemeteries in Oregon, make recommendations for funding, obtain grant funding, seek legislative appropriations for historic cemeteries, and assist in the coordination of restoration, renovation and maintenance of historic cemeteries statewide.

The group meets four times per year in different locations around the state. There may be an occasional additional meeting for extra projects, programs, and grant selection. Commissioners are also asked to provide informal meetings in their regions and work on other projects outside of meeting time. Travel costs are reimbursed. While protections measures are in place due to COVID, the meetings will be teleconferences.

To apply, send a letter of interest and resume to commission coordinator Kuri Gill at i.Gill@oregon.gov">Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov or 503-986-0685. Please include your reasons for wanting to serve on the commission, any skills or knowledge you will bring to its work, and ideas or goals you have for your participation. Please submit your information before April 20, 2021.

More information about the Historic Cemeteries program is available online at www.oregonheritage.org.

ATV Grant Subcommittee to meet April 8 via conference call - 03/23/21

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Grant Subcommittee will meet April 8 via conference call. The meeting is scheduled on Zoom and is open to the public.

The ATV Grant Subcommittee will review grant requests for projects related to planning, development and equipment purchases. The subcommittee meets at 8 a.m. with grant presentations scheduled 9:30 – 11 a.m. Then they will finalize scores and make recommendations for funding. Recommendations will go to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission for approval.

Anyone may listen to the meetings; instructions on how to attend is posted on the ATV Grant Program web page, along with the full agenda. Special accommodations may be arranged up to 72 hours in advance by contacting Ian Caldwell at ian.caldwell@oregon.gov or 541-410-5512.

The ATV Grant Program provides funding statewide for All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) recreation. Grant funds come from ATV user permit sales and a percentage of gasoline tax money. More information about the state ATV program is available at www.OregonOHV.org.