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 up dated 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!
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.
Annual "Let's Pull Together" Weed Pull Events Begin June 8!
Featured parks: Pine Nursery Park & Hillside Park
Look for the BPRD Weed Wagon! Pull those noxious weeds and put 'em in the wagon!
Together with Bend Park & Recreation District, the Deschutes County Weed Advisory Board and the “Let’s Pull Together” (LPT) event organizers are gearing up for noxious weed pull events that begin Saturday, June 9 and continue through June 15. during Noxious Weed Awareness Week. The week's weed pull events help to educate in preserving Central Oregon's ecosystem from non-native noxious weeds.
Noxious weeds are non-native invasive species which threaten our ecosystem. They not only crowd out native plants, but they starve wildlife, use water and create allergens. Noxious weeds also provide significant amounts of ladder fuel which during wildfires, can radically change the speed and fury at which wildfires burn.
Let’s Pull Together is a family-friendly countywide noxious weed-pulling event held around Deschutes County. All residents are welcome to attend one of the events held in Bend, La Pine, Redmond and Sisters; to help rid the area of noxious weeds. Grab your kids, your friends, your neighbors and meet us at the weed pull!
After the weeds pull events, all volunteers are welcome to feast at the complimentary volunteer appreciation lunch, which are held in every participating community. Festivities include entertainment and great prizes.
In past years, the region’s weed pull events have been among the best attended of all the community service projects throughout the Deschutes County. So, get your neighbors and...”Let's Pull Together”!
For assistance and information about noxious weeds, please visit the Deschutes County web site at www.deschutes.org/weeds
or contact Deschutes County Vegetation Manager/Forester Ed Keith at (541) 322-7117.
HOLLINSHEAD BUNK HOUSE RENOVATION
James W Matson was a share-cropper for Dean Hollinshead starting in 1937. He and his family lived in the Share Croppers House at Hollinshead Park, which is now a museum. Caring for many acres, he grew seed crops and potatoes as well as raised a dairy herd, beef cattle and hogs. When Matson’s brothers came home from WWII, they worked on the farm too, helping clear the land and harvest crops.
The Bunk House, originally built in the 1920s, has served many purposes over the years. Matson’s brothers and other workers used it for sleeping quarters and it also housed Matson’s Model A Ford (driven all the way from Kansas) in a corner. Much-needed farm buggies and wagons were stored under a lean-to on the east side and a harness room was located in another corner. Dean Hollinshead spent many hours in the harness room, working on horse gear, arranging buckles, hooks, tools and stirrups as well as sharing stories by the woodstove with friends.
In 2009, Park Services re-roofed the building. In 2011,our staff have completely renovated the interior and exterior adding electricity, insulation and heat. Numerous Hollinshead historical items will be stored on display here and the building will soon become an addition to the museum.
For more information or to schedule a tour, call the District office at (541)389-7275.
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.
TAYLOR FIELD RENOVATION
Taylor Field located at the Skyline Sports Complex was renovated this past season. The playing surface had been sinking over the years making game play increasingly difficult for patrons and program users. Jack Robinson and Sons Inc. was rewarded the contract to remove the entire outfield, bring in new soil and compact and laser grade the finished playing surface. Botanical Developments was the irrigation sub contractor hired to install the new irrigation system in both the infield and outfield areas. Park Services sports turf team seeded and top dressed the new grass playing surface and managed the grow in process throughout the summer and fall seasons.
The field will remain closed for the wnter with plans to open in the spring of 2012.
Mirror Pond located in the upper East corner of Drake park continues to receive some ongoing attention. Early in the season park services staff laid about 3,000 sq. ft of sod in the worn out turf areas, top dressed and then over-seeded with a grass seed mix blended especially for the Central Oregon climate.
A new block retaining wall was installed next to the bus stop to help hold in a small embankment as well as to make the area more aesthetically pleasing to park users. The irrigation in this area was renovated and new bark was installed in the planter beds and tree wells to complete the project. In addition, new pavers were installed next to the bus stop area to assist with cleaning up what used to be a worn out dirt area.
The embankment facing out into the river was cleaned up to increase site lines for safety and to open up views down to the river. The old wood split rail fence is currently being replace with a metal decorative fence that will tie in with the other fencing located throughout Drake Park.
Lewis & Clark, Awbrey and Sun Meadow Neighborhood parks received new plant material to replace some of the plants that had out grown the planter beds over the years in these parks. Staff removed or re-located existing plant material and added additional plants and trees to fill in these beds and to assist with making the maintenance of these parks more efficient for our landscape crews.
ASPEN HALL LIGHTING UPGRADE
The Facilities Department of Bend Park and Recreation recently completed an interior lighting upgrade at Aspen Hall. One aspect of this project was to replace the existing 175 watt Mercury Vapor lamps with 60 watt, high lumen, compact fluorescent lamps. In doing this the district will cut the energy consumption in more than half. Some other advantages of the fluorescent lamps are, Long lamp life (10,000 hours), Self Ballasted, Instant-on.
The rest of the project entailed retrofitting the remaining lighting fixtures with T-8 fluorescent lamps and ballasts, Fluorescent recessed lighting and LED exit lights.
The payback for this project will be 6-8 months with incentives from “Energy Trust of Oregon” and “Oregon Business Energy Tax Credits”.
FOREST HEALTH AND FIRE FUEL REDUCTION
The district continues its efforts to improve forest health and manage fire fuels at Shevlin Park making it more resistant and resilient to wildfire. The district works on approximately 60 acres a year to maintain fire breaks and vigorous plant communities. In addition, there are several fire fuel reduction projects either planned or completed throughout the community on park lands adjacent to homes. This past year fire breaks and ladder fuels removal has occurred at Woodriver Village, Alpine, Archie Briggs Canyon, and River Rim. If people who live near park lands are concerned about fire danger they should call Park Services. We would be glad to assess the situation with you and form a plan of action if necessary.