FOSTERING RECREATION, EDUCATION, CULTURE AND THE ARTS

Juniper Hills Park

The Bean Foundation has a Strong base of “stewardship,” placing service to/with the community above the Foundation’s self-interests. The Foundation leadership is entrepreneurial, a means for supporting the Foundation’s commitment of stewardship into perpetuity.

Case Studies > Juniper Hills Park

LEADING WTIH PURPOSE

Community In Action

In the early 1990s, there were two large recreational areas serving Jefferson County and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Spring’s 24,000 residents—the Cove Palisades State Park and Haystack Reservoir. The parks are, a 30 to 100 mile roundtrip drive depending upon the users location.

The Cove Palisades and Haystack Reservoir offer opportunities for people to boat, fish, swim and camp. However, nearly 20% of residents in Jefferson County were living below the poverty level and had little access to the state park. Many didn’t own a car, and those that did could rarely afford the gas required to get there and back. Nor could they afford the day-use parking fee. Few even possessed the camping gear needed for overnight camping.

At the time, Sahalee Park was the only large public park in Madras. It was squeezed into a one-square block in the downtown area. It had been created by early pioneers as a convenient place where families could gather to relax outdoors and enjoy picnic lunches. The problem was it was too small for organized sports, a favorite part of most family outings.

In 1992, the Bean Foundation joined with others to address the community’s growing need for greater recreational opportunities for families and children in Jefferson County. It joined with Jefferson County officials, HAABLAA, a multi-cultural community advocacy group, and Jefferson County Little League to create Juniper Hills Park, a regional park located in the east side of Madras. The Foundation donated 69.06 acres of prime land to the project, a gift valued at about $700,000, and reserved an additional 31.28 acres in the future. The project was developed in phases with other partners joining in over a ten-year period.

By 2002, Juniper Park Hills offered three little league fields, four softball fields, a nine-hole Frisbee golf course, two Olympic size soccer fields for multiple uses, a fossil exhibit, two playgrounds, two bathrooms, parking lots, and 2.3 miles of paved walking path.

In 2018, the park received a $297,000 grant from the State to fund a new restroom and concession building adjacent to the Little League fields, two large picnic shelters and a paved route between the restrooms and shelters to improve ADA access. Today, Juniper Hills Park is a favorite place for locals and visitors to play.

THE NEED

In the early 1990s, there were three large recreational areas serving residents of Jefferson County and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Spring’s 24,000 residents all fee based—the Cove Palisades State Park, Hay Stack USFS and Kah-Nee-Ta Resort. All three required a 80-100-mile roundtrip drive depending on location.

The Cove Palisades and Hay Stack Reservoir offered opportunities for people to boat, fish, swim and camp and Kah-Nee-Ta provided opportunities for swimming and camping. However, nearly 20% of residents in Jefferson County were living below the poverty level and had little access. Transportation and fees were a barrier. Many residences did not own a car, and those that did could not afford the gas required to get there and back. Nor could they afford the day-use fees.

At the time, Sahalee Park and Bean Park were the only public parks in Madras. Both were small and limited but offered opportunities for open green space, picnics and relaxing. The problem they were too small for organized sports.

SOLUTION

In 1992, the Bean Foundation addressed the community’s growing need for greater recreational opportunities for families and children in Jefferson County. Using the Foundation’s typical approach to planning community projects, it joined with City and Jefferson County officials and a multi-ethnic/multi-cultural community advocacy group to create Juniper Hills Park, a regional park located in Madras. The Foundation donated a little more than 69 acres of prime land to the project and reserved an additional 31 acres to be donated in the future as additional developments take place.

The project was developed with multiple partners including the National Guard, Hispanic Anglo American Brotherhood of Love committee, Little League, and many others joining in over a ten-year period. By 2002, Juniper Park Hills offered three Little League fields, four adult softball fields, a nine-hole Frisbee golf course, two Olympic size soccer fields with sideline seating areas for multiple uses, a fossil exhibit, two playgrounds, two separate bathrooms, parking lots, and 2.3 miles of paved walking path.

In 2018, the park received a $297,000 grant from the State to upgrade existing bathrooms to meet ADA requirements, add fund additional restrooms, build concession building adjacent to Little League fields, add two large picnic shelters and pave the route between the restrooms and shelters.

IMPACT

Today, Juniper Hills Park is a favorite place for locals and visitors to play across the age spectrum. It provides ample space for pick-up and organized sports, and for families wanting to relax and spend precious time together; for children gaining confidence, social skills, and physical strength in small groups or through organized sports; and for adults who want the opportunity to engage in competitive games. It is a safe place for people who want to walk or bicycle alone or in groups. It has been heavily used by local Little League teams as well as regional tournaments, by Cycle Oregon, and by solar eclipse events. Overall, it is a beautiful, conveniently located greenspace that offers something for everybody and adds to the growing beauty of Jefferson County.

FROM THE COMMUNITY

I have two sons. One who is 17 years old and the other who is 11. We have been involved with JUNTOS for 7 years and JUNTOS has helped my family a lot to think about their education. Thanks to the trips to Universities my sons have a higher goal about attending a university. Many thanks to JUNTOS for all their support.

Christina Diaz-Toledo, Juntos Program Coordinator Jefferson & Crook Counties, OSU Oregon Open Campus