‘Much needed upgrades’ to OR State Parks will begin in 2022


Inside Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon’s high desert (KOIN, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Several state parks in Oregon will undergo renovation after $50 million was approved to fund facility improvements.

On Wednesday the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the list of park capital improvement projects. $50 million general obligation bonds will be issued to fund the project.

The 2021 Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 5506 permitting the issuance of general obligation bonds to fund the improvements.

“The legislature’s incredibly generous act allows us to make significant and much needed upgrades to facilities and infrastructure, as well as modernize and expand some campgrounds,” said Lisa Sumption, director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. “This support for the park system’s future is especially meaningful as we commemorate our centennial in 2022 and our commitment to provide world-class park experiences.”

Two separate disbursements of $25 million will be issued to the agency in May 2022 and May 2023. OPRD said they have to spend the money within three years of payout.

The seven parks set to undergo improvements in 2022 are Beverly Beach, Champoeg State Heritage Area, Fort Stevens State Park, Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint, Silver Falls State Park and Smith Rock State Park. The proposed improvements range from upgrading electrical, sewer and water systems, renovating structures and building additional parking and campsites.

Work for the May 2022 project is set to begin fall of that year.

Building additional loops and relocating some existing loops are scheduled in 2023 at Cape Lookout State Park, Milo McIver State Park and Nehalem Bay State Park.

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