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A historic day in Boring

The Boring Station Trailhead Park is dedicated to all people who visit Boring
by: Jim Hart, There was nothing Dull in Boring midday Saturday when hundreds of Boring residents gathered around the community circle to celebrate the dedication of their new park: Boring Station Trailhead Park.

There's a renewed sense of vitality in Boring, a place where life is usually a bit more subdued than nearby metropolitan cities.

That new energy is not due to the changing season or the pure, untreated well water Boring residents drink.

Two reasons stand out as responsible for the renewed vigor:

1) Clackamas County's newest park was dedicated Saturday in the center of downtown Boring, and

2) Boring residents are set to vote next Tuesday to partner with Dull, a community of 80-some people in central Scotland - a partnership that has attracted news media around the world.

These recognitions have sparked some in Boring to wear blue Tee shirts that say 'IT'S COOL TO BE from BORING Oregon.'

While not every one of the approximately 8,000 Boring residents is in favor of being a part of the Dull and Boring crowd, there were hundreds who set aside thoughts of the river, lake, mountains or beach and came Saturday to witness the dedication of Boring Station Trailhead Park.

Park dedication

Appropriately, the ceremonies began when a trio of Clackamas and Boring firefighters formed an honor guard to raise the American flag on Boring's new pole, dedicated to the service the late Jack Valberg gave to the Boring community and to the development of the park.

People stood silently, lining a paved portion of the Springwater Trail leading to the pole as Matt Kilgras from Clackamas Fire District No. 1 led the way, followed by Shane Thomas, carrying the flag close to his chest, and Adam Brennan, both from Boring Fire and Rescue.

Soon, Boring's collective joy for life will rise even higher when the blue Boring, Oregon, flag is mounted beneath the American flag atop Boring's high pole.

The amount of applause that erupted when the Boring flag was unveiled Saturday is a testament to community approval.

A work in progress

But the park that was dedicated with a ribbon-cutting by Clackamas County Commissioner Jamie Damon of Eagle Creek did not happen overnight - not even over the past year or two.

No, it took thousands of hours of work over about eight years, according to a description of the process given by Saturday's emcee Dan O'Dell, chairman of the Friends of Boring Station Trailhead Park.

It also took a lot of collaboration between some individuals, groups, agencies and jurisdictions. Finally, it took nearly $1 million in grants and donations from local residents and businesses to complete the project, which was constructed by Paul Brothers of Boring.

Damon started her comments by asking whether members of the audience thought 'Dull, Scotland had as good a day as we're having today?'

No one ventured a guess, but laughed at the thought.

Damon was elated to represent the county commission at this historic event,

'I am so proud of this park, and I am so proud of Boring,' she said, 'that we have this new centerpiece here in our community.'

Damon talked about her younger years riding her bike from her home north of Boring to visit a friend near Boring Grade School, and wished the Springwater Trail - which passes through the Boring park - had been completed when she was attending Barlow High School.

A large portion of the funding for the park, Damon said, came from timber-sale revenue on county land near Wildcat Mountain.

'I just can't imagine a better use of timber money than to reinvest in a former timber town such as Boring, Oregon.'

Regional park support

O'Dell mentioned that a major portion of the grants came from Metro.

Metro Councilor Shirley Craddick described the park, and its connection between the Springwater and Cazadero trails, as a link in the (region's) 'intertwine.'

'This (park) is truly a hub,' she said, 'in the regional trails system. It's also a junction for all the other things that are important to us - our natural areas connecting our communities, giving people safe ways to get about.'

Recognition

O'Dell was the recipient of unexpected recognition Saturday - a new paver bearing his name and three others to add to the many pavers around the park's community circle. The recognition was for O'Dell, Larry Alexander, Chris Olson and Marlin Marsh, which was given to the quartet for their years of leadership on the Friends of the Boring Station Trailhead Park.

O'Dell also was spotlighted by Cheryl McGinnis, executive director of the Clackamas River Basin Council. McGinnis presented O'Dell with the coveted 'Stanley Stevens River Watch' award for his work at Deep Creek, across Highway 212 from the new Boring Park.

But O'Dell moved the spotlight off himself and pointed it at the late Jack Valberg, a longtime Boring resident, who O'Dell said provided the 'initial spark' in 2004 that got the concept of a park on its way to an actual project.

Forward planning

For the future, O'Dell said the park would have playground equipment, more landscaping, a covered picnic area, a covered stage, correct spellings in the pavers already placed and sell 700 more pavers, complete paving of the Springwater Trail's last leg - up to the edge of the park - and plan the development of land across Highway 212 at the head of the Cazadero Trail.