August Featured Park: Crater Lake National Park

The natural wonder that is Crater Lake attracts visitors from around the world and is one of the most recognizable natural places in Oregon. It is a place Oregonians feel connected to, whether or not they have visited. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and is…

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Try Day-Hiking These Epic Backpacking Trails in Oregon

For many outdoor adventurers, the idea of a long-distance backpacking trip is a dream, a goal, or bucket-list item. Here in Oregon we are fortunate to have two incredible and well-known backpacking trails – and they are more accessible than you might imagine. Both the Oregon Coast Trail and the…

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Action Trackchair All-Terrain Wheelchairs Now Available in Tigard

Oregon Parks Forever, David’s Chair, and the American Legion Post 158 in Tigard are working together to increase park accessibility for people with mobility challenges. Oregon Parks Forever and David’s Chair secured funding for the wheelchair and the American Legion Post in Tigard agreed to host it. The chair will…

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Try Out Paddleboarding at These Oregon Lakes

The Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Board has gained in popularity recently, with more and more people enjoying this inexpensive and low-tech sport at local lakes and rivers. If you have been out to any body of water recently, you might have seen people standing or sitting on what look like wide…

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July Featured Park: Cottonwood Canyon

Cottonwood Canyon State Park is located in the Northeastern part of Oregon, a little way east of Mount Hood and just a half hour drive south of Biggs Junction. Nestled along the banks of the John Day River, it is the newest, and the second largest, State Park in Oregon….

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Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute Concludes for 2022

Oregon Parks Forever was pleased to once again be able to provide scholarship support for students to attend this year’s Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute.  This is a week-long residential field studies program for high school students in grades 9-12.   Students studied Macroinvertebrates in the River, learned about Visual Storytelling, some…

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Hiker/ Biker Pod Update

Due to the pandemic, construction of several hiker/biker pods at Oregon State Park campgrounds along the coast was put on hold. However, we are pleased to report at this time that Oregon State Parks has provided a new estimated completion date for three new Hiker/Biker pods by Spring of 2023….

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June is National Get Outdoors Month!

And there are so many reasons to get outdoors in June – starting with our Oregon State Parks Centennial on June 4th! The centennial will be celebrated on State Parks Day, and parking fees at all State Parks will be waived for the day. Summer is almost here and now is a…

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June Featured Park: Smelt Sands State Recreation Site

Smelt Sands State Recreation Site, photo by Granger Meader The Smelt Sands at Yachats is a small scenic viewpoint notable for its sunset views and whale-watching opportunities. The beach here is rocky, more than sandy, and caution should be taken here at all times if you venture out to the shore for…

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Where to go Birdwatching in Oregon

A group of Willets at South Jetty State Park Oregon is a great place to go birdwatching, and May is a great time to look for migratory birds. Birdwatching is possible at almost any park or nature preserve, and you can start out with an inexpensive scope or pair of…

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May Featured Park: Vista House

Most Oregonians who have visited the Columbia Gorge are familiar with the Vista House at Crown Point State Scenic Corridor. The domed sandstone building sits prominently above the river along the Historic Columbia River Highway. It was constructed atop Crown Point Promontory as a place for Columbia Gorge tourists to take…

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Spring Events Not to Miss

Shore Acres Photo by Gwen Ross Newman As we burst headfirst into Spring here in Oregon, events at local parks seem to be popping up like the wildflowers on the hillsides. Spring in Oregon means wildflowers, waterfalls, and milder temperatures from the coast to the desert. Here are some of…

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Welcome New Board Member Kevin Price

Kevin Price began helping to connect kids from Portland’s communities of color to the outdoors more than 25 years ago, while working for Oregon State Parks as a Region Manager.  While in his role with Oregon State Parks, Price began leading field trips to the Columbia Gorge for students from…

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Celebrate Arbor Month

Oregon has officially extended this recognition of trees from the first week of April, to the entire month. Throughout the month, communities are invited to celebrate trees with tree planting events and other celebrations. The last couple of years, Oregon’s forests have been damaged by wildfires and extreme summer heat….

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Wildflower Walks and Hikes that Showcase Oregon’s Unique Beauty

Deschutes River State Recreation Area – Ferry Springs Trail At the confluence of the Deschutes River and the Columbia, this loop hike ascends the sides of the river canyon to a plateau above the park with excellent views. In spring, wildflowers along the trail color the hillsides with patches of…

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Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute Applications are Open

High school students who are interested in culture, science, and the environment are encouraged to apply for the Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute! Held each summer at Cottonwood Canyon State Park, the institute is a week-long residential field studies program with course options in cultural studies and natural resources. Courses are…

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April Featured Park: Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area

Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area is one of the newest parks in the Oregon State Parks system. Opened in 2006 on the site of Fort Yamhill near the Grand Ronde reservation, the park offers a glimpse of history as well as views of Spirit Mountain, a site sacred to Native Americans…

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Amazing Oregon Waterfalls with Free Parking

Spring in Oregon is an excellent time to see waterfalls! Melting Winter snow and Spring rains mean that the rivers and streams will be full, and the forests will be lush and green. Some of Oregon’s most popular waterfalls can be busy this time of year. Traffic along Oregon’s Columbia…

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March Featured Park: Kam Wah Chung Museum

Kam Wah Chung Museum in John Day Oregon Some of our members might recall Oregon Parks Forever’s campaign to raise 1.5 million dollars to help preserve and restore the historic Kam Wah Chung & Co building in John Day, Oregon. These funds were used to preserve an important part of…

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Storm Watching on the Oregon Coast

A volcanic eruption in Tonga last month resulted in a tsunami warning for the Oregon Coast, and a reminder to us all that the Ocean can be a dangerous place. It is this danger that is essential to its beauty, as millions of years of storms have carved out cliffs…

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Ticket2Ride Applications Being Accepted Now

With Covid-19 precautions in place, schools are finally returning to in-person learning, and field trips to the outdoors are an important part of the learning experience for any child. Unfortunately, the expense of transportation makes these outdoor experiences too costly for some schools. Ticket2Ride is one of Oregon Parks Forever’s…

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Oregon Parks Forever’s Board of Trustees Changes for 2022

We are pleased to announce our new board officers for 2022, and a new addition to our Advisory Council. Brigitte Sutherland, a long-time board member who previously held the position of Treasurer on our board, has stepped up as Chair. To fill her previous role, we welcome new board member…

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Donation tax benefits for 2021

Many of the benefits extended by the IRS for charitable contributions in 2020 have been carried over to apply to the 2021 tax year as well. The benefits apply to those who donated to qualifying charitable organizations, such as Oregon Parks Forever. Even if you do not itemize your deductions,…

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Discover Disc Golf in Oregon

Disc Golf Hole at South Beach State Park (photo by Justin Holzgrove) Oregon is one of the leading states for the sport of disc golf – a popular activity that can be practiced inexpensively and by people of all ages and levels of fitness. It is easy to learn and…

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Fun Holiday Activities for the whole family

Willamette Valley Ornament Hunt Keep your eyes peeled while out on hiking trails in the Willamette National Forest and you may bring home a holiday keepsake. Ornaments have already been placed on trails and will be there until the end of the contest on January 1st, 2022. If you find…

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Holiday Gifts to support Oregon’s Parks

Right now is the peak of the holiday shopping season and we’d like to share with you some of our top picks out of our online store. Your purchase supports Oregon Parks Forever. Members can use their discount code to save 10% on all store purchases as well! For a…

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A Message of Thanks

Thank You. We are doing this together. We have so much to be grateful for here in Oregon, from the magical forests to the soul-healing beaches, and every place where one can go to enjoy being in nature. And together, we can ensure that these lands are open and accessible…

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Ways to Celebrate the Holidays, Outdoors

We would love to be able to say that our favorite holiday events are returning for 2021. Unfortunately, many events have been cancelled for the second year in a row. Even if our favorite festivals and light shows are not happening, there are still many ways to celebrate the season…

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Get some TREW gear, and support Oregon’s Parks!

Oregon Parks Forever is thrilled to partner with Oregon-based TREW, maker of awesome winter sports gear, to benefit Oregon’s parks. Now through November 21st, get a special thank-you from TREW when you become a member of Oregon Parks Forever. TREW jackets and bibs also make great gifts for the winter…

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Free Christmas Trees for Kids!

Kids who have an Every Kid Outdoors pass (free pass for 4th graders, available through the National program website at everykidoutdoors.gov), can apply for a free Christmas tree permit through their National Forests. Permits allow for cutting a tree (specific species, and locations restricted) on National Forest land – in Oregon, this includes…

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October is Oregon Archaeology month

Oregon is rich in cultural history and also a state where many significant discoveries have been made about the early indigenous North American cultures. Some of these finds have contributed to the theory that human residence on the continent began much earlier than is widely accepted. Some of oldest sites…

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2021 Smart Energy donation

For the past 11 years, Northwest Natural has encouraged customers to sign up for their Smart Energy program during their Spring membership promotion. They have promised to make a $10 donation to Oregon Parks Forever for each new member who signs up during this period. So far, this has resulted in $172,300 in…

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Two New Sticker designs in the Oregon Parks Forever Store

We’ve just released two new sticker designs for you to find in our online store! As of now you can get designs for Heceta Head Lighthouse and Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. These two locations are among the most photographed, beautiful places on the Oregon Coast. OPF-Funded Lighthouse Project You…

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How to See Oregon without a car: 6 places to visit

Looking for ways to get outside, without being dependent on your car? So are we! By coincidence (or not), some of Oregon’s top places to get outside can be reached by public transportation. Here are a few places to put on your list if you want to adventure out and…

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Here’s what people are saying about Oregon Parks

We really enjoyed hearing the stories people shared about their recent park experiences here in Oregon. People love our parks, and it shows! Here are a few of the things people shared with us. If you are able, would you help support our parks with a donation today? Wallowa Lake State Park…

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Adventure Out for Fall Colors in Oregon

If you are looking for stunning fall foliage in Oregon, your best bet is to get out in mid-October. This is when the maples, birch, aspen, and ash will be turning yellow and the dogwoods and vine maples turn red. Hikes William Finley Wildlife Refuge – The short, 1.1 mile…

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National Parks Service Birthday

The National Parks Service turns 105 this year! President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Act on August 25th, 1916, and to celebrate, the National Parks Service offers free entrance at parks nationwide. In Oregon, both Crater Lake National Park and Lewis and Clark National Historical Park will waive…

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Get Outside for American Adventures Month

Oregon has a vast amount of outdoors to explore. There are more than 250 State Parks and many other areas managed by State, Local, Tribal, and Federal agencies. If you are searching for that perfect place to visit next, here are a few online resources to help you in your…

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Oregon Parks Forever’s Board of Trustees is Growing!

Images above courtesy of New board members Eric Valentine (left, center left) and Cal Mukukomo (center right, right). Oregon Parks Forever was excited to welcome four new board members to our organization in the past few months. These remarkable individuals each have a long history of caring for Oregon’s parks…

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First Wildfire Tree Replacement Funds Allocated to plant 153,000 seedlings

The first funds from our Wildfire Tree replacement fund have been allocated to the request from the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department to help replace trees burned in State Parks by last summer’s extraordinary wildfires. With the help of a $50,000 matching challenge grant from Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Outdoor Fund,…

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Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute Reopens after COVID pandemic

Shown above, Jacob Preator and Ethan Williams demonstrate the bench they built, with a table at one end and a solar charging station at the other. All of this is anchored by Rock Jacks (boxes filled with rocks), to provide stability in areas where digging is not possible. A small…

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Photo Tips & Tricks Webinar scheduled for Monday, July 19th at 7pm

Four accomplished photographers, two professionals and two amateurs, will join us in this Member-Only event to talk about their favorite techniques for generating stunning nature images across Oregon. Cal Mukumoto, a forestry consultant from Southwestern Oregon who travels the state frequently and always has his camera at the ready. Eric…

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400,000 trees will be planted!

You can see the small seedlings in the foreground! Last year’s fires were devastating to Oregon’s natural areas. Oregon’s forests are an important part of our ecosystem, capturing carbon emissions and providing habitat for wildlife. Part of the recovery will involve replanting as soon as possible to re-establish the natural…

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June 12 is National Get Outdoors Day

Multnomah Falls Image by Zane Andrews Saturday, June 12 is National Get Outdoors day and sites managed by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will be fee-free! Popular areas include the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Newberry Volcanic Monument, and National Forests for the US Forest…

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Oregon Parks Forever Virtual Field Trips

With the pandemic forcing many schools to close classrooms and move to distance learning, kids missed out on outdoor experiences such as field trips funded by Oregon Parks Forever’s Ticket2Ride program. Challenges were further complicated by closures of parks across the state. Since the kids were not able to get…

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Spring 2021 Membership Bundle Announcement

Dear Friend, Are you itching to get into nature? Are you dreaming of bluer skies? Frustrated that many of the most popular campsites are already booked? Join us to learn about some of the many other opportunities for camping on public lands in Oregon this summer.
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Wildfire Fund Update

Wildfire Fund Update We are delighted to say that our Wildfire Tree Replanting fund continues to receive great support.  We have raised over $325,000 so far! You can still donate. Every dollar donated plants a tree!  Thanks to a generous matching grant, donations up to a total of $50,000 are being matched…

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February eNewsletter

Dear Friend, Are you itching to get into nature? Are you dreaming of bluer skies? Frustrated that many of the most popular campsites are already booked? Join us to learn about some of the many other opportunities for camping on public lands in Oregon this summer.
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January eNewsletter

Dear Friend, We all sat in the smoke and wondered…What can I do? How can I help? Oregon Parks Forever has established a Wildfire Tree Replanting Fund.
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2020 Update

Our 25th anniversary year has been one for the history books. Through the pandemic and record-breaking wildfires, this year has been a memorable one…and challenging. Here are a few examples of what we are working on now:
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December eNewsletter

Just before sunset, a circular halo or parhelion illuminates the sky at Ecola State Park (photographer Jeremy Jeziorski). Dear Friend, Our 25th anniversary year has been one for the history books. Through the pandemic and record-breaking wildfires, this year has been a memorable one…and challenging.As an organization whose sole focus is enhancing…

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Partnership with Wapato Weed Warriors Removes Invasive Blackberries

Wapato Access Greenway State Park is home to many species of birds and mammals, however several invasive plants have taken over areas of the park — including the invasive Himalayan blackberry. A local group of volunteers called the Wapato Weed Warriors have been stewarding the park for years.
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October eNewsletter

Dear Friend, Last month, the Oregon State Parks & Recreation Commission accepted a donation of nearly $40,000 from our organization for the construction of three additional hike/bike pods in state parks along the Oregon coast.
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What a Crazy Summer it Has Been!

COVID caused a huge reduction in staffing across Federal & State parks & forests in Oregon, followed by very large increases in park visitation as people were taking vacations locally.
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September eNewsletter

Dear Friend, What a crazy summer this has been! COVID caused a huge reduction in staffing across Federal & State parks & forests in Oregon, followed by very large increases in park visitation as people were taking vacations locally.
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July eNewsletter

Dear Friend, The past few months have been an unprecedented time for Oregon Parks Forever (previously Oregon State Parks Foundation) and for our public land agency partners. Oregon State Parks Department has experienced simultaneous declines in its two principal revenue sources – lottery and user fees.
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Marking our 25th Anniversary

On May 15th, Oregon Parks Forever celebrated our 25th anniversary. On the occasion of this special anniversary, we would like to recognize the impact that Brian Booth and the Founding Trustees have had by creating a non-profit to raise money to support our parks.
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Recreating Responsibly: Take Care, Out There

On May 5, Governor Kate Brown announced the limited opening of public lands and as this limited reopening occurs, it is essential that Oregonians recreate responsibly to protect the health, wellness, and safety of themselves and others in local communities.
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New Tax Benefits for Charitable Donations

As a part of the CARES Act, Congress expanded tax benefits for charitable donations made in 2020, even for taxpayers who take the standard deduction. Now more than ever, if you are in a position to donate, we need your support.
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We are expanding our reach!

This year, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our organization. As we reflect on our accomplishments, we also look to the future in which our work will contribute to the well-being of not only our state parks, but all federal, state, local, and tribal lands across the state. We…
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COVID-19 update from our Executive Director

Thank you for being a valued supporter of Oregon State Parks Foundation. I hope you and your loved ones are safe and sound at home. Our hearts go out to anyone who has been impacted by this virus. We are grateful to those working on the front lines who are…
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Are you suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder?

Are you feeling stressed out and still wanting to be a responsible “social distancer”? Your gym is closed, you are self-quarantined, the kids are climbing the walls, and all of you are suffering from cabin fever…you may be suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder! It’s time to think about your physical and…
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Executive Director reflects on our 25 year history

Oregon has some of the most extraordinary state parks in the country; from the 80-plus state parks dotting the Oregon coast to the Switzerland-like vistas surrounding Iwetemlaykin. From the jaw-dropping waterfalls at Silver Falls, to the wide-open skies of Cottonwood Canyon State Park, to the awe-inspiring cliffs of Smith Rock,…
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African American Outdoor Association Campout

In October, families came together for the annual African American Outdoor Association Campout (AOAA) sponsored by the Foundation and Oregon State Parks Department. The AOAA’s mission is to “encourage and support the efforts of African Americans to get healthy by getting active outdoors.” They stage outdoor events like hikes, bike…
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Become a Member Today!

Support increased environmental education, access, and healthy activities in Oregon State Parks by becoming an Oregon State Parks Foundation Member!
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Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute at Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute just concluded its sixth year, with final presentations by the 22 students from across the state who joined the program. This year, students from LaGrande to Salem, and including members of the Grande Ronde and Umatilla Tribes, spent a week expanding their knowledge at the lovely…

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My Favorite State Parks

For as long as I can remember, my favorite State Park has been Shore Acres State Park, located just outside of Coos Bay. Shore Acres is name given to the oceanfront estate of Louis and Lela Simpson. The Simpsons were shipping and timber magnates in the early twentieth century. The estate…

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