Schaad Park Opening: Celebrating Nature Play

I remember it like it was yesterday. The four of us flew out the front door of the house, down to the park and straight into the creek—drawn to its rocky bed like bees to honey. I was not sure if we were going to find any crawdads, but we had found seven (a record!) just the day before. The creek offered us a new adventure every time: climbing over the rocks, prodding the mud with sticks, and turning over small logs—we explored everything. As we worked on the very serious business of finding crawdads, frogs and super-long worms, the playground behind us, interestingly enough remained conspicuously silent. That sluggish concrete slide hadn’t seen action in months, but for good reason; the creek was an entire world unto itself.

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This is how many of us grew up and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The power of nature in our parks has not been lost on me. So when Chehalem Park and Recreation District said they were interested in nature play at one of their new parks, I was all ears. We visited the site, which is a spectacular 1.75 acre hillside of seasonal springs and oak savanna with scenic views of the Yamhill Valley in Newberg, Oregon. The next thing I knew we were knee-deep in the design of Schaad Park.

Fast-forward to the May 16th grand opening and you will see me proudly standing in front of “my” park. It’s a park of opportunity and discovery. It has a little bit of everything: sand, mud, water, forest, logs, natural boulders and a 30 foot long stainless steel slide built into the slope that I guarantee will see plenty of action—by kids and adults. Most importantly however, it has a neighborhood full of families who have been waiting in the wings until now. So, from one crawdad hunter to another—it’s all yours!

Schaad Park Opening
Thursday, May 16th
Eagle St, Newberg, OR 97132
Directions: drive past Chehalem Glenn Golf Course and turn left into The Greens, turn right at Hook Drive, and left onto Eagle Street

Posted May 09, 2013
Written by: Ryan Carlson

Presentation at Penn State: Artful Rainwater Design Symposium

OCC Raingarden

On April 10th I had the privilege to participate in a one-day symposium on Opportunities and Challenges in Artful Rainwater Design hosted by Penn State’s Landscape Architecture department. Experts from across the country who practice in this specialized area of design came together for eleven sequential “TED talk style” presentations. My presentation, “Rivers and Rain Gardens” discussed a chronology of our firm’s stormwater projects from early work in the mid-1980s with bioswales and detention ponds, to recently completed work at Bud Clark Commons and a terraced rain garden beneath the Darlene Hooley Pedestrian Bridge over I-5 in South Waterfront.

After seeing the presentations of others and conversing with my colleagues in a subsequent Professionals Round Table, I came away feeling appreciative that we who practice in the Northwest have been able to make significant contributions to the “state of the art” and science of green infrastructure. I also felt convinced that we, as landscape architects, need to strongly advocate for the design of stormwater systems as an integral part of our practices, no matter where the project is located or what discipline is leading the team. We are uniquely trained to consider all of the multiple benefits of green infrastructure, from its ecological functions,   educational value, economics and aesthetics.

Posted: Apr 25, 2013
Written by: Carol Mayer-Reed, FASLA
Posted April 25, 2013
Written by: Carol Mayer-Reed, FASLA
Categories: EVENTS