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City of Silverton

Parks planning – Pickleball courts, lake trails to come before city soon

By James Day The City of Silverton’s work on a master plan for its parks is yielding immediate fruit. Two of its major pieces, a trail system at Pettit Lake and new pickleball courts near the skate park, could see design and construction contracts come before the city as early as next month. The funds for both facilities have been […]

Winter at the Oregon Garden. The Oregon Garden Foundation has received a major grant form travel Oregon which will be used for several upkeep and accessibility projects. Chris Vardas

Oregon Garden receives $100,000 grant to increase accessibility

By Melissa Wagoner The Oregon Garden recently received a $100,000 grant from Travel Oregon as part of that organization’s $3.6 million Competitive Grants Program focused on improving accessibility and inclusivity through visitor industry improvements across the state. “In my time here, and certainly in the last five years, it’s the largest grant we’ve received,” Delen Kitchen, The Oregon Garden Director […]

Silver Falls State Park

Outdoor tradition – Free Silver Falls hikes set for New Year’s Day

By James Day A pair of free guided hikes in the recently upgraded North Canyon area of Silver Falls State Park are on tap for New Year’s Day. The hikes are part of Oregon State park’s annual tradition of waiving parking permit fees on the year’s first day at all state parks that require them.  A total of 31 Oregon […]

Here is a look at a salmon that came through the Minto Fish Hatchery last season. Salmon watch events are being held at Packsaddle Park throughout the late summer and fall. James Day

Salmon Watch – Volunteers, school kids, public visit during spawning season

By James Day It’s salmon season and the Marion Soil & Water Conservation has a series of events planned in the Santiam Canyon for August through October. The district is organizing Salmon Watch field trips for school kids from Sept. 20 through Oct. 18 at Packsaddle Park just east of Gates on Highway 22. Packsaddle is a known spawning ground […]

A look at North Falls from the new North Canyon viewpoint.

Silver Falls – Park upgrades North Canyon access, amenities

By James Day Silver Falls State Park has unveiled new trail links and visitors amenities at its North Canyon day-use area. Using funds from state general obligation bonds aimed at improving parks and campgrounds, Silver Falls has added a new parking lot, restrooms, an information kiosk and permit pay station as well as a new trail that links the area […]

Paddle boarder renting from Paddle Silverton -- courtesy of Britt Edmondson

Paddle boarding – Exploring Silverton Reservoir just got easier

By Melissa Wagoner Making the Silverton Reservoir more accessible to more people was high on Britt Edmondson’s list of priorities when he decided to open Paddle Silverton – a mobile stand up paddleboard (SUP) and kayak rental service – on June 14. “I decided to go out on a limb and do what I had hoped someone else would,” Edmondson […]

A pair of campers are shown setting up camp in a Douglas fir tree, a new adventure offered by Tree Climbing at Silver Falls.  Submitted photo

Camping in the canopy – Overnight tree stays offered at Silver Falls

By James Day The tree climbing operation at Silver Falls State Park has expanded its offerings and now features tree camping. Leo Roden-Fischer, the entrepreneur who founded Tree Climbing at Silver Falls two years ago, notes “our half-day tree climbing adventures are amazing and unforgettable like people say in our 5-star reviews, but tree camping is on an entirely different […]

The new property that is being added to Scotts Mills County Park. The heavily forested piece will add six acres to the park. James Day

Expansion – New land, more options at Scotts Mills park

Marion County has added six-plus acres of forested property to Scotts Mills County Park, an addition that will greatly expand the options for park users. The 6.03 acres of heavily timbered property cost the county $450,000, with $360,000 coming via the county’s sale of Auburn Park to the Salem-Keizer School District and $90,000 from Terry Caster, who died on April […]

Kurt Berning, left, talks about the oak habitat projects he is running on his family’s property just outside of Mount Angel to a tour group. James Day

Enviro tinkering – Learning lessons on oak habitat in Mount Angel

By James Day Kurt Berning is a born experimenter. In another era you would have seen him in greasy jeans with his head under the hood of an old Packard. Or at another time, perhaps, in his garage with a fellow tech geek developing a home computer with a four-inch screen. Instead, we find him in 2023 in his laboratory: […]

Poison hemlock. © aga7ta / 123rf.com

It’s pretty, but… Poison hemlock packs a punch

By Melissa Wagoner It may look like a carrot, parsley, parsnips or Queen Anne’s lace but gardeners and foragers should be wary because what might look like a tasty treat may in fact be poison hemlock. “This plant is very poisonous and can be fatal if ingested,” Brooke Edmunds, an OSU Extension Service Community Horticulturist, said. “Even contacting the sap […]

Free Fish Day returns to Silverton Reservoir

On Saturday, June 3, 2023 the Silverton Lions will host Silverton Free Fish Day,  co-sponsored are the Silverton Kiwanis, the City of Silverton and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. This will be the 27th yearly event.  The day starts at 8 a.m. through 3 p.m. The reservoir is closed during the event. Transportation to and from the reservoir […]

Silver Falls birding, wildflower event set

By James Day The annual Mother’s Day Birding and Wildflower Festival is set for Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14 at Silver Falls State Park. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days and is scheduled to coincide with World Migratory Bird Day. Silver Falls State Park officials said in a press release that the event […]

Silver Falls State Park seeks to add new ‘Friends’

If you’ve visited Silver Falls and stopped by the Nature Store or gotten some fun facts at a discovery table, you’ve seen the Friends of Silver Falls State Park volunteers and staff in action.  Friends of Silver Falls State Park is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historic and natural resources of Silver Falls State Park. Members work alongside […]

Birds, bees… and other pollinators – Sustainable Silverton partners with Oregon Garden for educational series

By Melissa Wagoner This spring Sustainable Silverton’s Urban Natural Resources Action Team is enlisting the help of local experts to hold an educational series about birds, bees and butterflies at The Oregon Garden. “It aligns with our mission statement and Action Team goals and the need to find a way to create more awareness about preserving or maintaining natural resources,” […]

Silver Falls Park camping visits up

By James Day Public use of state parks continues to rebound from the pandemic, a new state report shows, with camping visits at Silver Falls approaching pre-COVID levels. Overall, Oregon State Parks experienced its second busiest camping and day-use year in history in 2022, the report says. Visitors logged 2.97 million camper nights, just 1.8 percent less than the record-breaking […]

Mountain biking club gears up for new season

A Silverton-area mountain biking club is getting ready for a fourth season and is looking for new riders to become members. The Silver Falls MTB started in 2020 and focuses on riders in grades 6-12. The club started with 12 riders and was at 22 last season. Club members practice Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. starting in […]

Saving steelhead – Project places log jams in Abiqua Creek

By James Day The Pudding River Watershed Council and a plethora of partners have completed a $500,000 project aimed at improving the survival rate of endangered steelhead on Abiqua Creek. The key piece of the puzzle was placing 12 “engineered log jams” on the creek on land owned by Weyerhaeuser, which also contributed the logs and boulders for the effort. […]

Take a hike – Jan. 1 offers free opportunity at Silver Falls

The annual guided first day of the year hikes will be held at Silver Falls State Park and nearly 20 other parks Jan. 1. The outings are led by rangers, and the $5 parking fee that most state parks charge will be waived. Oregon State Parks has been holding the hikes since 2012 in an effort to promote exercise and […]

Fire recovery – Marion County commission plans vote on $24 million park plan

By James Day The Marion County Parks Commission plans a January vote on a proposal to restore and update county parks damaged by the 2020 wildfires. County officials have been working with consultants Walker Macy and EcoNorthwest on the plan to address fire damage and upgrade Packsaddle, Minto and Niagara along Highway 22 and North Fork, Bear Creek and Salmon […]

Water witches – Who needs a broom when you can paddle your own canoe?

By Melissa Wagoner Witches young and old met at dusk on Friday, Oct. 7 at the Silverton Reservoir and held the inaugural Silverton Witch Paddle. Taking to the water rather than the skies on all manner of crafts, from stand-up paddle boards to kayaks, an estimated 30 witch-garbed enthusiasts celebrated the season with camaraderie the likes of which many hadn’t […]

Bike friendly – Local riders talk about Oregon’s opportunities, adventures

By Melissa Wagoner   This spring the League of American Bicyclists ranked the state of Oregon as the second most bicycle friendly state in the nation – number one on the West Coast. But what do Willamette Valley cyclists think? A panel of avid cyclists from the Silverton and Mount Angel area weighed in. Laura Wanker “I’m pretty satisfied with […]

Little Monarchs – Silverton author’s unusual book tour includes family

By Melissa Wagoner When award-winning writer Jonathan Case was writing his latest graphic novel, Little Monarchs, he already knew its promotion would be different than just about any book he’d ever written. “It’s a road trip book,” Jonathan said. Referring to the premise of the novel, which follows ten-year-old protagonist, Elvie, and her biologist caregiver, Flora, on a post-apocalyptic adventure […]

Old-world goodies – Silverton Hills farm raises, preserves chestnut trees

By Brenna Wiegand Paul’la Allen used to accompany her husband Jack to the cemeteries where he conducted graveside services. Jack Allen, a mortician and owner of Pearson-Allen-Caldwell Funeral Home in Portland, traveled around to small community cemeteries where headstones go back hundreds of years. Paul’la and young daughter Julie were never bored on these trips. “While Jack was doing the […]