Our organization was formed as the Oregon State Parks Trust in May of 1995 by the first Chairman of the Oregon State Parks Commission, Brian Booth.  He saw an opportunity to engage private philanthropy to help deal with the long term problem of under-funding of our state parks. Brian gathered a group of notable Oregonians as the first group of Trustees, including Lu Beck, Cynthia Ford, Bob Meinen, Bill Naito, Lynn Newbry, Nancy Russell, Stub Stewart, Bill Sweet and Dave Talbot.  The Trust was renamed to Oregon State Parks Foundation in 2012 and then to Oregon Parks Forever in 2020.

Some of our most notable capital projects have been building a new Experience Center at Cottonwood Canyon, the renovation of the Vista House in the Columbia Gorge, the establishment of the Kam Wah Chung Museum, the renovation of seven lighthouses along the coast, and the addition of the first 50 yurts in state park campgrounds- a first anywhere in the country.

Browse by region and learn about the major projects we’ve accomplished since our founding in 1995. Archiving our 25 years of history is an ongoing project, so please contact us if you have a story to tell about your experiences with our work.

Oregon Coast

  • Yachats Trail
  • Fort Stevens State Park
  • Oregon’s Lighthouses

Willamette Valley

  • Champoeg State Heritage Area
  • Silver Falls State Park
  • Willamette River Water Trail
  • Willamette Mission “Ghost Structure”
  • Banks-Vernonia State Trail
  • Fort Yamhill State Park
  • Milo McIver State Park
  • Tryon Creek State Natural Area
  • Elijah Bristow State Park

Columbia Gorge

  • Vista House Restoration
  • Volunteers in the Gorge

Central Oregon

  • Tumalo State Park
  • Pilot Butte Scenic Viewpoint
  • Smith Rock State Park
  • Fort Rock State Cave
  • Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute
  • Cottonwood Canyon Experience Center

Eastern Oregon

  • Farewell Bend State Park
  • Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum
  • Peter French Round Barn
  • Sumpter Valley Dredge

Southern Oregon

  • Collier Memorial State Park and Logging Museum
  • Casey State Recreation Site
  • Wolf Creek Inn