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Banner Park Open House @ 9 am – 1 pm on May 7th.

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The rock monument that sits in Banner Park and indicates that the land was donated by Banner Bank will get relocated once improvements begin. Herald photo

Oakridge, Oregon/April 7, 2022, Banner Park Phase 1 – Groundbreaking

By LYNDA KAMERRER/ For The Herald  —  Thanks to volunteers and the City of Oakridge, Banner Park at 48267 East First Street will soon have a new look.  Over the past year plans to create an attractive and relaxing oasis have been percolating.  Some clearing of the area has already taken place in preparation for the first steps of the construction process.

With a creative and cooperative spirit, volunteers have worked with the City Administrator, Public Works, the Parks and Community Services Committee, UBRA (Uptown Business and Revitalization Association), and the City Council to make the project become a reality. At this writing, the project is moving forward.

Plans for renovations have been long in the making

The park has languished since 2015 with a few lonely and struggling trees on a somewhat desolate city lot surrounded by asphalt and concrete.  The location is where Siuslaw Bank once stood. It burned and was demolished.  After banking buyouts, Banner Bank became the owner of the property and subsequently donated the land to the City of Oakridge for a park.

Members of the nearby business community and volunteers on the Parks and Community Services Advisory Committee started discussing beautification efforts and with hopes of increasing use of the park by the public.  In January of 2022 the City Council approved a concept plan to improve the park with landscaping and a few low-cost amenities. The plan was based on a sustainability model, using trees and shrubs native to our area and thereby creating a low maintenance park.  Several weeks later, the City Council approved a request for TRT Funds, (Transient Room Tax), in order to implement the beautification efforts.  As the project progresses, details will be shared with the community.

Mark your calendar for May 7th

The public is invited to an Open House at Banner Park on May 7th between 9 am and 1 pm in the rear parking lot at 48267 East First Street in Oakridge.  Visit before or after the Tree Planting Festival (TPF) Parade. The Parks Advisory Committee will be joined by several other groups to inform and educate on a variety of sustainability topics.  Here are the organizations sponsoring a table:

OSU Extension Master Gardeners – providing expert advice on composting, pruning, and offering free soil testing of your home garden soil. (Details on TPF website.)

Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council – Demonstrating water flow with their stream simulator, information on local watershed projects, and answering landowner questions.

Oakridge Air – will provide information on: The Community Firewood Program, The Community Woodshed Program, and The Home Heating Upgrades Program. These programs are all involved with improving energy efficiency and clean air in Oakridge & Westfir.

OSU Department of Environmental Toxicology – A team of students focusing on wildfire smoke impacts will offer information about their research.

Parks and Community Services Advisory Committee – Offering volunteer opportunities and information on the status of our parklands within the city.

Banner Park as it appears today before significant renovations which are scheduled to begin in May 2022. Herald photo

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