Ashland Parks & Recreation cares for 17 parks in addition to multiple open spaces and park properties within Ashland. One of those properties is the Ashland Creek Property, an undeveloped seven-acre parcel purchased from the Vogel family in 2001. This land will soon become an official City of Ashland park.
The centrally located property, at 23 Hersey Street, is situated between Helman and Oak streets, just one-third of a mile north of Ashland’s downtown Plaza. The new neighborhood and community park will help fulfill the City’s Open Space Plan adopted in 1989 toward preserving and developing land for new park spaces in the City. “Ashland places high value on its community parks,” said Ashland Parks & Recreation Director Don Robertson. “This is perhaps best demonstrated by the high use of our most well-known park, Lithia Park. Lithia Park was created in the early 1900s as an eight-acre park and has grown to over 90 acres, with well-used trails, a playground, creek access and more. Lithia Park is perhaps over-loved, as its use is extremely high. It is clear that more community parks are needed near the downtown area,” stated Robertson.
The master plan for the property was developed and adopted in 2005/2006 in close coordination with Parks staff, the public and the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission. Key discussion points throughout the planning process included environmental, recreational and sustainability goals. The adopted plan not only protects but also restores this important riparian area while allowing neighbors and community members to engage in recreational enjoyments. The property will be developed in two phases:
Phase I: Beginning June, 2014, with proposed completion set for December, 2014. Projected cost: $619,900.
In June, 2013, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) awarded Ashland Parks & Recreation with $309,950 for development of the park through their OPRD Local Government Grants Program. Phase I will include:
• Expanded/Renovated Community Gardens
• Demonstration Gardens
• Half-Court Basketball (possibly moved to Phase II)
• Irrigated Multi-use Playing Field Lawn
• ADA-Accessible Inner Concrete Trail Loop
• ADA-Accessible Parking
• Bicycle Parking
Phase II: Visit www.ashland.or.us/AshlandCreekPark for details.
Ashland Parks & Recreation will work in conjunction with a selected contractor to supervise and build the park. “The Ashland Creek Property already contains many of the features desired by the Ashland community, including access to a beautiful creek, a central location, and walking distance to residential neighborhoods,” stated Ashland Parks Superintendent Bruce Dickens. “The development will only add to the enjoyment of the park land,” he concluded.
For more information, please visit www.AshlandParksandRec.org, call 541.488.5340 or stop by the Ashland Parks & Recreation office at 340 S. Pioneer (off Granite Street in upper Lithia Park).