December 5, 2021

More Power, Better Washrooms, New Visitor Centers – Oregon Parks To Get Major Upgrades • Daily Journal of Commerce

A guardhouse built at Fort Stevens in 1911 will be updated as part of the 2022 work at Fort Stevens State Park. (Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation)

The electrical system at Beverly Beach State Park on the Oregon coast has not kept pace with the ever-increasing size of RVs entering the campsite.

When a circuit breaks, repairs are not easy.

“You can’t just fix a site,” said Jered Mangini, park manager. “You have to cut off the power to six to ten sites, being part of a loop. You have to go around and warn people. A repair can take half a day.

Now, a major fix is ​​coming for one of the most popular campgrounds run by the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation.

Beverly Beach, nestled along Spencer Creek north of Newport, is one of seven state parks to receive multi-million dollar upgrades next year. Last week, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission voted in favor of $ 50 million in park work over the next two years, which will improve some of the state’s most iconic parks. .

“It was a huge blessing,” Mangini said after the vote.

The coastal park with 267 campsites and 21 yurts will likely need to close temporarily to allow for a full electrical system upgrade.

Mangini said the result would be more robust electric service at campsites to handle larger motorhomes that require more power. He said more and more guests are showing up with electric vehicles as well.

This put a strain on the electrical system.

“We blow the circuit breakers on the left and on the right. Said Mangini. “The last thing you want to tell someone is that you can’t run your toaster, microwave, and heater at the same time. “

As part of the project, overhead power lines will be put underground, saving the local utility the hassle of going to the park for repairs after a storm has pushed trees.

The park will also be able to operate a larger laundry room to service the cleaning crews who look after the yurts and other campground buildings and for campground hosts.

“We could do two loads of laundry at a time,” Mangini said.

He said his crew wouldn’t spend so much time doing repairs.

“This translates into much more positive interactions with customers,” Mangini said.

He joined the Parks Department in 2006 as a ranger after working for years in construction. He met his wife at the park and rose through the ranks to become a manager at Beverly Beach in 2017.

“There is no way to be bored,” he said. ” I am addicted. “

Other parks will undergo even more substantial transformations.

On the Beverly Beach coast, Fort Stevens State Park will receive upgrades of up to $ 11 million. Four loops of the campsite will benefit from modernized public services, a toilet dating from 1955 will be replaced and others will be improved.

The historic guard house, built in 1911 as part of a military complex, will receive a new roof, and windows and doors will be replaced.

In John Day, the state will purchase a municipal park adjacent to the Kam Wah Chung Museum so that it can build an interpretive center and expand its historical collection. Today, the Chinese History Site State Parks team works at part of a nearby former college.

Other park projects announced last week:

  • Silver Falls State Park, east of Salem – A visitor center for North Gateway, campground and new North Canyon trailhead and parking lot and utility upgrades.
  • Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint, west of Vista House on the historic Columbia Gorge Highway – New restrooms and expanded parking lot that can accommodate 100 vehicles.
  • Smith Rock State Park, east of Terrebone in central Oregon – A new visitor center and restrooms and improved parking and traffic.

In 2023, the Department of Parks and Recreation plans major improvements to Cape Lookout State Park, south of Tillamook; Nehalem Bay State Park, north of Tillamook; and Milo McIver State Park, northwest of Estacada.

Chronicle of the capital of Oregon is part of States Newsroom, a network of grant-supported news bureaus and a coalition of donors as a 501c (3) public charity. Oregon Capital Chronicle maintains editorial independence. Contact publisher Les Zaitz for any questions: [email protected] Follow Oregon Capital Chronicle on Facebook and Twitter.

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