By Kathy Cook Hunter
Silver Falls State Park needs a little spring cleaning before tourists visit it this summer.
Volunteers are encouraged to lend a helping hand on May 16 as a part of Take Care of Oregon Day, an event to celebrate Oregon’s 150th birthday.
Vicki Sink, Cascades District interpretive coordinator, is overseeing this project, which will be carried out with the assistance of SOLV.
“The goal is to get at least 150 projects over the state,” said Sink. “The state parks jumped on the bandwagon by providing special events or adding to already established special events.”
Sink said volunteers and guests will be served birthday cake on May 26 “to help present the spirit of Oregon and what makes it special,” she said. “And we also have a State Parks Day on Saturday, June 6, when we have free day use and free camping – kind of a ‘customer appreciation,’ if you will.”
Sink said there’ll be three major projects at Silver Falls State Park on May 16 for volunteers to do – remove Scotch broom, trim vegetation and clean-up litter.
On the Canyon Trail, the focus will be on trimming back vegetation along the trail. “We often can’t get down there to take care of this and at this time of year the salmonberry is going strong,” she said. “Volunteers should bring hand clippers and loppers.”
Sink advises volunteers to dress for the weather in appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes or boots. Gloves will be provided but they can also bring their own. Signs at the park entrances will direct volunteers to free parking; water will be handed out.
“But it’s a good idea to bring your own water bottle, and do bring your own lunch,” Sink said. South Falls Kafe, serving light lunches and a number of beverages, will be open.
The recommended minimum age is 10 years old, particularly for the Scotch broom removal and trail-trimming efforts.
“This is one way to pay tribute to this place we call home,” Sink said.
Volunteers should preregister at www.SOLV.org. Choose one of two links: a project in Marion County or a specific Take Care of Oregon Day on May 16. For details, call Sink, 503-873-8681, ext. 21, or email her at Vicki.Sink@state.or.us.