Celebrate the State Parks Centennial, places to birdwatch, spring gifts
Celebrate the State Parks Centennial, places to birdwatch, spring gifts
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A nonprofit raising funds to enhance and preserve special places and experiences in Oregon’s parks.
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Kam Wah Chung Building

May Featured Park: Vista House

Most Oregonians who have visited the Columbia Gorge are familiar with the Vista House at Crown Point State Scenic Corridor. The domed sandstone building sits prominently above the river along the Historic Columbia River Highway. It was constructed atop Crown Point Promontory as a place for Columbia Gorge tourists to take in the views and enjoy a rest before continuing their travels. The architect, Edgar M. Lazarus, designed the structure as “a temple to the natural beauty of the gorge”. Construction started in 1916 and the building was opened in 1918. The elegant building features Alaskan marble floors, stained glass windows, Kasota limestone for the rotunda, and green glazed tiles on the roof.

A large restoration was undertaken from 2001 to 2006 to address needed repairs and bring the building up to current ADA standards. The massive fundraising effort helped ensure that the Vista House will continue to welcome visitors to the Columbia River Gorge for years to come. Oregon Parks Forever partnered with the Friends of Vista House to raise more than 2 million dollars to fund restoration of the interior.

After being closed to the public for nearly two years because of the Covid pandemic, Vista House is once again welcoming visitors through its doors, and in the café and gift shop. The Friends of Vista House will now need volunteers and have trainings coming up soon for those interested. Please contact the Interpretive and Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@vistahouse.com for more information. 

Oregon State Parks Centennial Birthday Party

June 4th is Oregon State Parks Day, and this year there is much to celebrate! One hundred years ago, Sarah Helmick donated 5 acres of land to the state to be used as an area for picnicking and recreation. To celebrate the past 100 years and the more than 250 state parks we have today, join Oregon State Parks at a celebration at Sarah Helmick State Recreation Site (7 miles south of Monmouth on HWY 99E). Come get some birthday cake, enjoy a classic car show, and witness the centennial dedication. Festivities begin at 10:00 AM and wrap up at 2:00 PM. More information.

Here are some more events coming up in the next month:

Birds Without Borders – May 14th
The Children’s Forest of Central Oregon invites the community to celebrate birds at this free event held at Sahalee Park in Madras. Bring the whole family for a day of music, art, birding and more. 

Horse Camp and Trails Volunteer Work Party at Nehalem Bay State Park – May 21st
Part of Oregon State Parks, “100 volunteer projects for 100 years” initiative, this event will be to help expand and beautify the horse camp at Nehalem Bay State Park Campground. Volunteers will help remove invasive species here.

Let’s Go Birding at Old Fort Stevens – May 27th
A free guided walk to learn about the birds who make their home at Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria, Oregon.

Shore Acres Father’s Day Rose Sunday – June 19th
Visit Shore Acres for a display of roses from the Southwest Rose Society and get your questions about roses answered by experts on site. Enjoy coffee, tea, and cookies from the Friends of Shore Acres.

Find More events on the Oregon Parks Forever website.

Where to go Birdwatching in Oregon

Oregon is a great place to go birdwatching, and May is a great time to look for migratory birds. Birdwatching is possible at almost any park or nature preserve, and you can start out with an inexpensive scope or pair of binoculars. There are also some very special places to see sought-after species this time of year.

If you are looking see a wide variety of birds, or maybe some rather impressive ones, here are a few places to check out this month: Read the full article>>
Oregon Parks Forever is excited to introduce a new program combining Oregon park experiences with an Oregon Parks Forever membership. Our Experience Oregon subscription packs make great gifts for the outdoors lover in your life, or for yourself! 

Volunteer with SOLVE

Are you looking for a way to give back to our parks and natural areas in a hands-on way? When people contact us about volunteer opportunities, one of the organizations we most often recommend is SOLVE. SOLVE is an Oregon-based volunteer organization that runs clean-up events statewide. Activities may involve site maintenance, litter clean-up, removal of invasive species, and native planting. View the SOLVE calendar of events to find an opportunity near you. Here are a few of their upcoming events in Oregon parks:

Willamette Park Improve the Park May Event 
West Linn, Oregon: Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM  

 Annual Rogue River Clean-Up - Whitehorse County Park
Grants Pass, Oregon: Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM 30th 

Treasure the Beach
Seaside, Oregon: Saturday, June 4, 2022, from 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
With Sincere Gratitude,
Oregon Parks Forever is a statewide, member-supported nonprofit dedicated to raising funds to enhance and preserve special places and experiences in Oregon's parks. www.orparksforever.org.
Oregon Parks Forever
503-966-1283 | administrator@orparksforever.org.
1501 SW Jefferson St. Portland, OR 97201
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