State grant goes toward new park

The long-awaited development of a new park along Ashland Creek likely will move forward in 2014, thanks in part to a $309,000 state grant.

Back in 2001, the city purchased land from the Vogel family that had once been used for farming near the intersection of Hersey and Oak streets.

The Vogel property was later named Ashland Creek Park, although it has remained in a largely undeveloped state except for a community garden the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission allowed residents to build there.

Parks Superintendent Bruce Dickens said an official timeline for the site's development has not been created yet, but construction could start as early as spring.

Persevering parks employees were successful in winning the $309,000 state grant this year after striking out on a previous attempt, he said.

The parks department will contribute a matching amount to move the project forward, Dickens said.

Several years ago, residents gathered in workshops to help craft a master plan that will guide the seven-acre park's development.

The plan calls for walking trails, restoration of a riparian area that runs along Ashland Creek, open grassy areas, a children's play structure, picnic tables, creek viewpoints, a basketball half-court, restrooms with storage space for tools and a drinking fountain.

The community garden will be allowed to remain and will be upgraded and expanded.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

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