Public invited to comment on future of former mill site in Oregon City

by: SUBMITTED - The 1st City Celebration Street Festival in Oregon City will allow the public to comment on the future of the former Blue Heron Paper Co. site near the historic Willamette Falls. Oregonians will help design the future of the former Blue Heron Paper Co. in downtown Oregon City as state, regional and Oregon City officials kick off the Willamette Falls Legacy Project, a nine-month visioning and master planning process that will culminate with the redevelopment of the 23-acre site next to Willamette Falls.

At the 1st City Celebration Street Festival on Saturday, partners will launch a master planning and public visioning process designed to enhance economic development, allow people to experience the falls, protect and create healthy habitats for plants and wildlife and provide opportunities for historical and cultural interpretation.

The festival, at the corner of Eighth and Main streets in Oregon City, will be attended by local and regional elected officials and will provide opportunities for public dialogue about the redevelopment.

From noon to 7 p.m., attendees can stop by the Willamette Falls Legacy Project booth to participate in interactive activities that will help define the future vision for the site.

At 6:45 p.m., there will be a special kickoff event at the stage featuring remarks by local and regional leaders.

One of Oregon’s signature landmarks, Willamette Falls served as a Native American fishing and gathering site and the site of the nation’s first long-distance transmission of electricity (from the falls to Portland), and was mentioned by Lewis and Clark in their travel diaries in the early 1800s.

In 2011, Blue Heron Co. closed its doors in a bankruptcy, leaving an opportunity to redevelop the site.

Oregon City is leading the Willamette Falls Legacy Project; other project partners include Clackamas County, Metro, the state of Oregon and the site’s bankruptcy trustee.

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