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Saturday, May 12, 2012

More about parks in Yamhill County

Here is a link to a list of Yamhill County parks. 
The county has a number of undeveloped parks. I would personally like to seem basic facilities at a couple of them. They look like they would be neat to visit.
The first on one the list is Dayton Landing. I didn't know it was a park. That sounds like a nice place for a picnic. But, who knew it was there?
Powerhouse Park and Juliette Park both look interesting. Plus, they have history with the McMinnville hydroelectric project back when people tried to be self-sufficient. I think I will visit these parks.
So, why not do some simple upgrades to these unimproved parks and see what happens?
I'm sure that if this was suggested the arguments against it would include, vandalism, lack of security, lack of parking, expense of maintaining the park, lack of money in the budget. Neighborhood objections. Pretty much all the reasons we don't want a 90 acre park with over night camping located on our road.
I wonder if developing an interesting feature at each of the undeveloped parks and making a few simple trails would draw in a few visitors who would take more pride in the park or if it would just make it easier for people to go off the road in drink at night. Which seems to be the primary use of parks in Yamhill County at the present time.

In a little side note about the public interest in parks. If you do a search for Yamhill County park you will find posts by The Lazy Farmer.  I've been watching my stats much closer since I posted those blog entries.  Very few of my hits come from those posts. I suspect that there are not a lot of people searching online for info and Yamhill County parks. I don't know what that means statistically but I kind of suspect that people just don't care. If no one is searching online for parks than Ken Huffer is most likely not telling the truth when he states that Landfill Park is needed because people call him all the time looking for hiking trails in Yamhill County.

16 comments:

  1. Time to rebrand Yamhill?...toxic waste makes great public recreation areas, rabid nutria lurking everywhere, grizzled old locals high on coffee and snickers bars back their stackers over bicycles for fun. Deliverance reset. Don't even tune the banjo.

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  2. Hi. Came across your blog while searching for info about this new rails to trails proposal. I appreciate your concern about vandalism and increased traffic down your road related to the Whiteson Park, but I think you haven't looked at this issue from other perspectives. I'm glad the county seems to have taken some steps towards addressing your vandalism concerns, with the fences and all that planned.

    I moved to Yamhill County about six or seven years ago, and if you don't live on a farm with land available for riding or whatever, the options for nearby outdoor recreation are rather limited. I grew up in a New England state originally with a trail system that made it so easy to get out and exercise and play, on foot or bike or horseback - see http://www.ctwoodlands.org/trails. We don't have anything like that here. Logging roads up in the foothills, that's about it. That's why I am happy about the proposed Whiteson park and the possible rails to trails thing, even though they won't be super close to me. We need more access to outdoor recreation; we're all getting fatter, and more recreation opportunities can't hurt. Plus there's more tourism dollar potential if tourists also have more recreation opportunities when they stay around here drinking wine etc, with concomitant increased jobs/businesses etc.

    The county parks are small. There's Willamette Mission, an awesome park, but it's in Marion County across the river. Dayton Landing is only 2 acres. Mostly parking lot and narrow riverbank. Powerhouse park is 3.9 acres; Juliette is 5.8 acres. Joe Dancer city park in McMinnville, as a point of comparison, is 85 acres. Now that is a park I can actually run in and walk my dog for a decent excursion. It's all inaccessible farmland and tiny parks out here. I'd love to see Yamhill County improve the current parks - in fact i would be interested in serving on the park board if I didn't work the nights they meet - but I think Whiteson has great potential. 94 acres? fantastic! i hope you're not right about the stink aspect in summer. :) That would be sad.

    Check out the parks master plan at http://www.co.yamhill.or.us/parks/documents/Yamhill_Parks_Plan.pdf - note page 33, the comparison of parks acreage by county. We're not doing so well. Whiteson'll help.

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    Replies
    1. Jane,
      Thanks for your comment. I actually started from your perspective.
      1. The problem is that the morons who abuse the trails and park system are in the majority. I don't know what to do about that issue. I don't think signs will help.

      2. People ride or walk past essentially though your back yard. They feel free to comment on what you do and should you happen to break one of the numerous code regulations or APPEAR to do so, then they feel it is their moral responsibility to report you. Despite the basic hypocrisy of the complaint as everyone has driven over 55 mph. Or perhaps worse, 26 mph in a school zone.
      3. Landfill park will stink until the New Landfill is closed and covered. After it is closed and covered I suppose there will still be the occasional bursts of methane.
      4. Why does the park acreage by county comparison matter? So Benton County has more parks, go walk in one of those, it is only an hour away, you are going to spend that much time dodging farm equipment on Briedwell Road.
      5. Please do not run by yourself in an isolated park.
      6. Farmland is not as isolated/restricted as you think. It helps if you are at least friendly to farmers when are thinking about building a park next door. We used to let people ride horses, fish, swim, walk, whatever-as long as they asked, Until people started stealing us blind. Which is one of the very same reasons I'm opposed to the park.
      7. Yes I have looked at the master plan. Do you understand that I might be a little annoyed to learn that the parks people made that master plan without ever visiting the parks/potential parks? Specfically the proposed Landfill Park at Whiteson.
      8. Of course I am right about the stink aspect. Perhaps you should visit the area and see for yourself. I will admit I was surprised I did not smell it with the warm weather today, but give it time...
      9. Take a dip in someones pool in town and see how happy that makes them. I don't have a swimming pool, shouldn't I have access to that really nice one in the housing development on Baker Creek Road? Perhaps I could drive my tractor past your house every Sunday morning for a while. It would be for the public good. Nothing personal, I'm just saying...
      -Not that this will change anyone's mind-

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    2. You as well as all the other taxpayers who won't utilize the "park" will be paying for it with your taxes. Would you forgo that to pay admittance to ride/hike in a say, 4 or 5 hundred acre private park without the toxins of a landfill? Fees would depend upon the amount of trash left, things broken & stolen, and cost of maintenance, etc.

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    3. Muddy, There is not point addressing a comment to "jane" as she is not a registered blogger user and most likely will never even look at the response to her comment. If she is true to the type she doesn't even care about the neighbors or my opinions because she is not one of the neighbors. Pretty simple really.
      As to your comment.
      Yes I would.
      I think it would be an excellent use of your farm.
      I think it would be a great place to cultivate native species, camus, those silly lupines, all that stuff. Of course when you made it work, those that know best would probably take it away from you and pretend that they did it all...

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    4. To set it up like that would be catering to a crowd of ungrateful morons and I would spend all my time picking up garbage & playing policeman. It will remain invitation only here. I prefer my privacy to any pittance I might make by opening the place up to the public.

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    5. Muddyvalley: answer: yes. I have the $ to be able to do that. However, I like the somewhat socialized solution where we all pony up a little bit of cash so that collectively we all have access to something, for the common good & so even the poorest can benefit. I grant you that for the individuals who don't want to opt in w/tax $, it's sad. But as a society we've collectively decided on some socialism here - police, schools, firemen, library, road maintenance, and yes parks. Think of it as a payment now to save your pocketbook later from the societal/insurance health costs of greater numbers of obese citizens.

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    6. Jane - I think you inadvertently left out a few words in your comment.

      "...However, I like the somewhat socialized solution where we ARE all FORCED TO pony up a little bit of cash ... I grant you that for the individuals who don't LIKE BEING FORCED to opt in w/tax $ FOR A WASTEFUL PROJECT,, it's sad..."

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    7. Jane: If the primary reason in your mind for this park to reduce the health costs in the future of currently obese citizens, then that is a pretty poor reason. A park won't make a lick of difference as the obese people 1: probably won't use it, and 2: if they do, it will be to throw a BBQ with lots of beer fried chicken, & HSCS filled soft drinks. They won't be there to diet. Exercise alone doesn't work even if the park had an exercise program, which it wont. If you or anyone else you know want to enjoy a pastoral and wooded scene and desire to lose some weight, then I invite you to help cut & haul firewood with me this summer for next winters fuel. You are also welcome to assist in clearing and attempting to eliminate scotch Broom here in the valley. This is a tax free service I can offer. I'm sure Budde also has plenty of weight reducing laborious jobs he can supply as well.
      If I saw the people who want another park willing to donate their labor clearing the roadsides of that pretty invasive, yellow, weed that is currently flowering I might feel more inclined to support them. Hard labor is a better sign of sincerity than a few bucks from every body else's pocket.
      But I understand that Robin hood's maxim is now the American way.

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  3. The issues are the same in Iowa. Until the Nobel prize is awarded for the cure for moronic behavior, responsible landowners and responsible recreationists are going to be frustrated at whatever solution is or is not arrived at.

    We used to allow anyone who asked to hunt, fish etc. and gradually the behavior of people coming out of towns deteriorated. Trash, things shot that aren't on any legal game list let alone edible, things stolen. It comes down to a lack of respect. Respect for the land, the people living out here.

    There is an endemic, warped sense of entitlement: I can go wherever I want, make all the noise I want, and throw my Bud Lite cans out the window any time I want.

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  4. And Bud Lite isn't even real beer...

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  5. Hi,
    gardening & the gorgeous weather drew me away from responding promptly, sorry. long response but here ya go:

    buddeshepherd... why would I not care about your opinion because I am not a neighbor? You're a county neighbor in the extended sense.

    1. I live close to a small park in my current house as I did in my last house, yep, I realize that people are slobs. They suck sometimes. I pick up trash after them as do city staff & volunteers. I don't think the solution is to not have any public parks. That would suck worse. The county folk may require badgering if you see a lot of trash or vandalism. I think that's part of being a good citizen - badgering the county and letting them know when there's issues so they step up cleaning/monitoring.

    2. er... I don't know what to say to your point 2. Do you find yourself breaking codes a lot and having people complain about it? Not really sure what the background is here. Is this a common farmer thing?

    3. & 8. again, sadness. Crossing fingers for the best regarding the smell.

    4. How can park comparison not matter? This is how we work, setting standards, seeing if we measure up as a city/county/school/whatever to those standards. Not sure if there are actual standards or what the standards are re: acreage per population for Oregon counties, but comparing to other counties works for me. Driving an hour to another county for their park because we're not willing to fund our own is freeloading off them. Also, seriously? Your solution for inadequacy of Yamhill parks is for me (or other residents) to drive an hour to another county for recreation?

    5. Grrr. Men telling me what to do because of risks from other men. I shall feel free to run by myself - well, with dog - in broad daylight in an isolated park in Yamhill County. If I see sketchy people, dog & I leave. Yes, there's always a risk, but I daresay my risk of being injured in a car accident is far higher.

    6. Are you referring to my statement that farmland is inaccessible? I simply mean I am not allowed to go walk on someone else's farmland. If I go knock on doors, perhaps they would say "sure", but somehow I find myself reluctant to randomly knock on farm owners doors and ask to run on their land every week. People stole you blind? Well, people have broken into my car & house in the city, again yes it sucks but such is life. You lock up your valuable stuff, put in motion sensor lights, get a dog, keep record of your stuff for insurance claim purposes, hope for the best. Yes, the risk will go up when you have more people going by your property. Didn't the county try to mitigate that with the extra fences, paid for by county residents to try and protect your property? Is your solution to not have public land? What kind of world would that be, all privatized, live in little cubicles, pay to go outside?

    7. Yes, if parks official never actually visited the county owned land for the proposed park, that certainly would be annoying. In fact it seems pretty unlikely to me.

    9. What are you talking about? You don't own the park/landfill land, the county does. Are you concerned about trespassing? Or are you referring to a "taking" as it were of privacy or from increased traffic or from increased possibility of theft? Valid concerns, but the county can't run its business based on what benefits a handful of owners. It is responsive to the needs of county residents as a whole, as determined through much planning process and citizen input over the years.

    If this were a proposed purchase of land, then it would be not the best use of funds given the possible smell, but since the county already owns this land... seems relatively thrifty and seems like they've really tried hard to mitigate neighbor concerns, from the looks of the final draft of the park proposal. Hopefully there will be follow through. Badger them if there isn't.

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  6. Jane! You are a real person! Thanks for your comments. You went to a lot of work in your response.
    It is obvious from the point/counter point that it is your typical argument between a grumpy person who has been in the neighborhood a long time and doesn't want to bothered, vs people who want to bother them.
    Most rural people probably have the same arguments I do and most people who want access to rural areas see the discussion the same way you do.
    I seriously object to the park being built on a buffer zone for a toxic landfill. That is probably the only valid argument I have. The rest are my issues with the de-evolution of society.
    They had to buy the land to deal with lawsuits and keep people away from the old landfill site. I think it is kind of insane to put a public park there.
    Furthermore, Yamhill County is somehow going to end up with a huge acreage on the other side of the river when the new dump closes and Waste Management takes their money and moves on. I think you could make a better park on the other side with access to HWY 18 and less impact on the neighbors or traffic on a narrow rural road.
    However no one will talk about the problems with the old dump and so that argument will be ignored.
    If I were going to do something with the buffer zone and I was on the Parks Board I would turn it into a study area and a place to preserve native plants. I'd restrict access to educational uses. Local School districts, colleges, universities, the Native Plant Society, that kind of thing. Then you could learn from the closure of the old landfill, have ground to preserve native species, sort of an open air laboratory. The key is supervision and controlled access.
    I expect there would be opposition to that plan.
    Some of my other comments you responded to.
    #4 I like being a back water, I like people not moving here, I do not like the whole winery thing, I would rather most people left the county.
    #5 Why does that upset you? Is it not true?
    Actually I was thinking about people running around by themselves in 90 acres with no one to call if they fell in the river or were attacked by a tweeker or broke an ankle or had a heart attack or spontaneous human combustion or aliens or something like that.
    #6 Why would I be in favor of anything that was going to increase my exposure to morons and theft? Do you want low income housing next to you?
    #7 They said they had only been at the site two times. One time was for a meeting with neighbors which I didn't attend as I was not annoyed with the park concept at that point.
    #9 The park is based on the desires of a hand full of potential users. Yes I expect trespassing. This park is not as good an example as a rails to trails project running across your land.
    They are not trying to mitigate neighbor concerns, they are trying to get the park approved. That is why the neighbors are uniting in opposition to the project. There is a big difference in attitude there.

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  7. Hi,
    delayed response again, sorry. yeah, the buffer zone to toxic landfill is your best argument, I would agree. I do not want low income housing next to me. I'd love a rails to trails though. Especially if I had a direct route to work on it. Sadly, not the case. I don't know why you'd have much trespassing. Unless the delineation between parkland and private land isn't clear I guess. Or you grow really irresistible & delicious looking crops like raspberries. Do the folks who live next to Champoeg or Willamette Mission have trespassing issues, I wonder?
    anyway, thanks for the conversation! I hope it works out better than you predict. :)

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    1. Trespassing is a huge issue for people who live near parks. It is an issue for us even though we are a ways up river but now we will be located between the Green Bridge and Landfill Park.
      People do not respect the boundaries of the park but it is not just the folks wandering around in your fields because they miss judged how long it took for their float trip or because they are looking for a spot to fish, it is the people who are trespassing to steal things or do vandalism or to find a place to drink and do all of the aforementioned things.
      Those people use the public land to access the private land to purposely cause trouble. That is why we don't want the park and why we don't let people we don't know access the river though our property.
      And then there is the issue of lawsuits. These do in fact happen even if it is out of your control.
      However, once again it is the difference between the way planners imagine things and between real life experiences.

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