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Friends group wants to spruce-up city's 'living room'

Plans include repairs and making the Heritage Park lawn greener, if OK'd


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Scappoose Public Works assisted in the flower planting by changing the dirt in the parks seven flower pots, said Scappoose Historical Society President Barbara Hayden.The Scappoose Historical Society, Friends of the Scappoose Public Library and the Scappoose Garden Club have come together to form Friends of Heritage Park, a volunteer organization geared toward maintaining and improving the popular park at the center of the city.

“We decided that we needed to work together and get a bit more done that way,” said Pat Ranken, one of the group’s organizers.

The club’s mission is to create a cooperative venture to care for, improve and make Heritage Park the most attractive place in Scappoose.

Early this month, Friends of Heritage Park raised money to plant flowers in seven large nursery pots within the park.

The volunteer group has been working with the city of Scappoose to achieve its goals, one being the improvement of the grass within the park, which browns during the summer. Friends of Heritage Park hopes to install an additional water source at the southwest corner of the park to service the grass as well as the Watt’s House.

“That park is the city’s living room, we want it looking better,” Ranken said. “We want to make small improvements one step at a time.”

City Manager Jon Hanken expressed appreciation of community volunteer efforts, but also said there are a number of barriers toward improving the park’s lawn.

“Part of that area was never always grass,” he said. “At one point in time, I believe Olive Street went all the way through [the park]. There is a road base there that the water doesn’t soak through.”

Hanken added that water is a precious resource that needs to be conserved during the summer.

“When we talk about conserving watersheds during the summer, it’s hard to tell people to conserve water when the city is keeping a green lawn. And let’s be honest: The city doesn’t get a water bill,” he said.

Friends of Heritage Park has a number of long-term goals including installation of a drinking fountain, repairs and maintenance on the gazebo and maintenance of the park’s planting containers.