Caring for our Parks
Bend’s beautiful parks host a wide variety of activities and events throughout the year ranging from community-wide cultural events to individuals relaxing in their favorite park. Bend Park and Recreation District oversees, maintains and develops parks, trails and open space in Bend and surrounding areas.
Since 1995, the District has been involved in an aggressive park rehabilitation program as a result of a voter approved levy. The levy-supported projects were completed in 2003, however, maintenance projects continue to be funded through the general fund in order to keep our parks and facilities updated and safe.
If you have any questions regarding park maintenance, please contact Park Services at 541-388-5435.
Park Services full-time custodians, Katrina Ross-Schulzke and Karen Winchell are pictured here in front of Drake Park restroom, one of our many facilities they keep clean and sanitized for Bend Parks and Recreation. Together they help provide a great service to our park users who appreciate a clean restroom!
Park Rules & Regulations:
Your enjoyment of parks, trails and facilities is a top priority. In order to keep your visit safe and enjoyable, there are park rules and regulations in place. You can learn more about BPRD’s rules and regulations on our Park Rules page.
Metal Detectors in Bend Parks:
In order to operate a metal detector on district property, one must have a metal detector permit in their possession. Metal detector permits are available free of charge through Park Services, 1675 SW Simpson, 541-388-5435, hours 7:30 am – 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday.
Beyond the routine maintenance program that keeps our parks clean, green, safe and beautiful, there are a number of larger projects our staff is working on.
PARK SIGNS PROJECT
The District is embarking on a multi-year sign replacement project intended to update and standardize the signage in parks and facilities. The first replacement is in Drake Park followed soon by Riverbend, Farewell Bend, Pine Nursery, Ponderosa, and First Street Rapids Park. Eventually, all parks will have new signs.
PIONEER & DRAKE PARK TREE WORK, REMOVAL & RE-PLANTING: February 2014
For many years, Pioneer and Drake Parks have been home to multiple species of trees providing shade and beauty to park users. Now, two tree species in the parks, black locusts and silver maples, are under siege by borers and rot, a common problem across the United States for both species. The infestation is requiring Bend Park & Recreation District to strategically prune and, in some cases, remove and replant trees. Tree removal is planned for Tuesday, February 25th.
“Unfortunately, the severely affected trees need to be removed due to weakened branches and trunks which create a safety hazard for park amenities and visitors,” said Sasha Sulia, Natural Resources Manager. “Eventually the trees will die from the infestation or disease. Working with a certified arborist, the district is taking steps to manage the trees as best we can but sometimes a tree is too diseased and needs to be replaced with a better species for our region.”
At Pioneer Park, there are 35 black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) trees planted throughout the park. Native to the eastern United States, these deciduous trees are estimated to be 70 to 80 years old. Under normal conditions, black locust trees live an average of 60 years and a maximum of 100 years. Specific only to black locust trees, locust borers larvae tunnel into a tree’s trunk and branches and over time cause serious damage and/or tree mortality.
“For several years, locust borers have infested all of the black locust trees within Pioneer Park,” said Sulia. “The borer’s damage is evident in the multiple dead branches, leaf dieback and boring dust on the tree boles.”
At Drake Park, similar problems exist with several trees along Riverside Boulevard. One tree is a black locust experiencing a severe locust borer infestation similar the trees in Pioneer Park. The other affected trees are silver maples (Acer saccharinum) and are diseased with extensive bole rot. Native to the eastern United States, silver maples have very soft wood, making them susceptible to different rot-causing fungi.
The affected trees in the two parks were assessed in the summer of 2013 by a certified arborist to determine the extent of the locust borer and bole rot damage. The assessment was incorporated by the district in its management plan for the trees. The plan includes pesticide spraying, tree pruning, removal and re-planting with non-host trees.
The parks will be replanted with a non-host tree species this spring. The twenty-three black locust trees that remain in Pioneer Park will be treated with pesticide in attempt to reduce the locust borer population. Through pruning and treatment, the district hopes the remaining black locust trees will survive. Continual arborist assessments of these trees will determine if they remain healthy enough to retain or will need to be removed.
For additional information on the tree work, contact Sasha Sulia, BPRD Natural Resources Manager, (541) 706-6203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past year the district’s trail crew resurfaced over 3 miles of trail. This included segments of the Deschutes River Trail on the east and north sides of Awbrey Butte, the trail connecting the Sawyer Park footbridge to the Deschutes River Trail, the washout on the Tumalo Creek Trail in Shevlin Park and the Alpine trail connecting the Parks at Broken Top and Tetherow. The Alpine project included construction of a new link that will allow trail users access from Skyline Park through the Parks and Tetherow to Forest Service Trails to the west. The resurfacing provides a more firm and stable surface and improves drainage. This will make it easier access for bikes, strollers and wheelchairs. It will also shed water to prevent puddles and ice from forming, keeping the trail open to users longer during the winter.