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Villages leaders share idea for park at Dorman Center

Community park vision includes nature trail, amphitheater

The Villages at Mt. Hood leaders are hopeful Clackamas County officials will look positively on their idea for a community park on the Dorman Center property at 25400 E. Salmon River Road.

The county plans to demolish the center, which it decommissioned in 2012, but many local residents hope to change the outcome.

At a Villages town hall meeting on Saturday, May 16, five committee members presented ideas for a community park on the Dorman Center grounds.

Regina Lythgoe, a real estate professional and resident of the Villages at Mt. Hood, brought up the community park idea at a town hall meeting last October.

Marci Slater, a member of the Villages board, said the committee is almost ready to go to the county with their ideas but wanted to present them to residents first.

Bob Stuckey, an architect and Villages resident, helped the committee put its ideas down by drawing a mockup of the proposed park. The 4-acre park would include an open-air pavilion — which residents envision would be built from the Dorman Center structure by preserving its roof and bathrooms — a community garden, playground, quarter-mile nature trail, park-and-ride for Clackamas County Mt. Hood Express, skate park, basketball court, 50-seat amphitheater and a bike hub.

“We want to make this one of our primary hubs for our community right here in Welches,” said Villages Interim Chairman George Wilson, who proposed the bike hub. “When finished, it would be the centerpiece of our community.”

The bike hub is part of a Mt. Hood Bicycle Pedestrian Coalition project that hopes to attract more bicycle tourism to the area. The hub would be one of five in the area. In addition to the park, two other sites have been dedicated for the artisan bike stop, which would include a bike rack sculpture, bench and covered area, including the Rendezvous Plaza in Welches and another in Rhododendron.

Wilson also hopes to install bike hubs at Cascade Ski Lodge in Government Camp and in the parking lot of the Sandy Ridge mountain bike trail system.

The town hall meeting also served as an election for board candidates, with 32 ballots tallied at the end of the meeting. Marci Slater was reelected to the board and Robert Bruce, Marilyn Anderson and Carol Burk also were appointed.