Shevlin Park to expand with addition of 300+ acres of Tree Farm
June 22, 2017
A partnership involving the Trust for Public Land, The Tree Farm, LLC and Bend Park and Recreation District is providing a unique opportunity to expand Shevlin Park.
Thanks to a federal grant from the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest Program and a generous matching donation from the Tree Farm, LLC, 329 acres of Tree Farm open space adjacent to Shevlin Park will be acquired by Bend Park and Recreation District.
As a community forest, the property will be managed for recreation, improving public access to nature, and expanding connectivity to the National Forest and Shevlin Park with additional bicycle and pedestrian trails.
“With the addition of the Tree Farm open space and Shevlin Park, residents of Bend have nearly 1,000 acres of natural space in close proximity to home for thousands of residents of our community,” said Don Horton, executive director, Bend Park and Recreation District. “Preserving open space is a special benefit for now and generations ahead.”
“Our late father, William E. Miller, acquired this property over 60 years ago and was a careful steward of the land,” said Charley Miller. “It has been our family’s desire to make this beautiful property available to be enjoyed by the community for perpetuity.”
The use and management of the community forest is expected to be generally consistent with Shevlin Park, although The Tree Farm open space comes with deed restrictions that prohibit future residential development, and require on-going wildfire management and some seasonal trail closures for winter mule deer migration. These innovative provisions will ensure the continued health of our local deer herd while creating a wildfire buffer for Bend.
Trails are already in use and more information is available at http://treefarmbend.com/trail-map/. The District plans to make some modifications and consolidations of some trails to reduce duplication in key areas as part of the acquisition.
“As Bend continues to grow, it takes creative efforts like this one to ensure access to nature close to home that maintains our great quality of life in Central Oregon,” said Nelson Mathews, NW Land Conservation Director for The Trust for Public Land. “We would like to thank the Tree Farm, Bend Park and Recreation District and the Community Forest Program for working together to provide more places to explore, run, hike and bike in Shevlin Park.”
Bend Park and Recreation District (District) collaborated with TPL to apply for a Community Forest Program (CFP) grant from the U.S. Forest Service to acquire The Tree Farm open space. The intent of the CFP is to provide financial assistance to local governments to establish community forests that provide continuing and accessible community benefits.
The District and TPL were successful in the grant application, and the District will use $156,125 to purchase the property (50% of the total $312,250 fair market value of the property). The required one-to-one grant match is being provided through a donation of the remaining property value from the Tree Farm LLC. The District expects to close on the property this summer.