April News from Marion County

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Marion County Oregon

April 23, 2019

In this issue:

County parks offer a wealth of recreational opportunities

By Dick Hughes, special to Marion County

Labish Village Park playground

From picnicking to geocaching to hiking, Marion County parks offer a wealth of recreational opportunities for residents and travelers.

“We have 18 parks that are scattered throughout the county. There are some that are absolutely gorgeous,” Parks Coordinator Russ Dilley said.

“We have all kinds of different recreation. A majority of the parks are on water, so there are a lot of water activities. Some have shelters for group picnics. We have smaller parks that are in the neighborhoods for kids to go play on the playgrounds.”

Most of the parks now stay open year-round. And with the May 1 opening of the remainder, visitors will find improvements throughout the park system.

During the winter, weather closes the county parks along the Little North Fork of the Santiam River. Come late spring and summer, North Fork, Bear Creek and Salmon Falls parks are so heavily used – for water play, fishing, hiking, picnicking and, at Bear Creek, camping – that the county instituted a parking fee from May 15 through September. The price is $5 per vehicle per day, or $30 annually.

“The area up there was being loved to death. We’re not trying to restrict anyone with the parking pass, instead limit the numbers because of the environmental factors,” Dilley said.

North Fork Park drew an estimated 11,800 visitors from last May through September.

The oldest park, dedicated in 1955, is Niagara County Park off Highway 22. “It’s an absolutely beautiful park with a great interpretative trail and a beautiful view of the North Santiam River which runs through the park,” Dilley said.

As travelers and local residents enjoy the county parks, Dilley reminds them to use the trash cans or pack out their garbage.

He adds: “Be safe. Tread lightly. Be respectful. Enjoy.”


Niagara County Park

Flags for Veterans

U.S. flag

Through a partnership with the Salem Elks Lodge, the Marion County Medical Examiner’s Office will soon be honoring veterans whose deaths are investigated in Marion County. This is a similar program to one currently in place at Salem Police Department. The Elks Lodge has donated 15 U.S. flags that will be placed respectfully over a deceased veteran at the time the investigation is completed, during transportation from their place of death to the funeral home, and remains on the body until final arrangements are made by the family. Families will get to keep the flag in honor the service given by their loved one and receive a letter thanking the decedent and family for their sacrifice. Rob Anderson, Chief Medical Legal Death Investigator, said the office will continue seeking flag donations to keep the program going. Please contact Rob at randerson@co.marion.or.us for information about donating flags for veterans.

Census Information Session set for April 24

U.S. Census logo

Marion County and the City of Salem are partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau and the Oregon Complete Count Committee to help ensure a complete and accurate count in 2020 U.S. Decennial Census. 

An accurate census count helps planners, businesses, service providers, and others making decisions on housing needs, infrastructure, and business growth. More than $1 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to Marion County based on census data.

Local communities and local programs rely on an accurate count. We need your help to ensure that all residents of Marion County are counted. For information visit our website

Census Information Session 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Center 50+
2615 Portland Road NE, Salem, OR 

We're counting on you!

People photo collage

Volunteers recognized for outstanding service to Marion County

More than 129,000 hours with a value of $3.1 million – these are the 2018 contributions of Marion County’s 1,742 volunteers. The Board of Commissioners celebrated the dedicated efforts of county volunteers on April 10 in honor of National Volunteer Week.

Please join us in congratulating our 2019 volunteer award recipients:

Youth Volunteer – Payton Schlag

Advisory Board Volunteer – Bob Anderson

Program Award – Monica Melhorn

Mary Pearmine Outstanding Volunteer Group – Lowell Spring and the Salem Audubon Society

Judge Rex Hartley Volunteer of the Year – Ulrich Reich

READ MORE about each of these volunteers and the programs they represent.

For a list of current volunteer opportunities or to learn more about Marion County’s volunteer program, contact Volunteer Coordinator Lisa Miller at (503) 588-7990, email volunteer@co.marion.or.us or visit www.co.marion.or.us/BS/VOL

Volunteer awards collage

Mill City historic railroad bridge photo contest

Mill City Bridge

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Historic Railroad Bridge in Mill City, amateur and professional photographers are invited to enter their best images of the bridge in the “Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge Photo Contest” hosted by the Save Our Bridge Committee in Mill City and Marion County Public Works. The contest allows photographers of all skill levels to capture photographs of the bridge through their own unique lens.

Send in your best photos for a chance to win! One grand prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize and the four category winners will each receive $125 cash prizes, thanks to the generosity of the contest’s sponsor Santiam Hospital of Stayton.

Contestants may submit up to two photos for each of the following categories: Natural Setting, Architectural Features, Community Life, and Seasonal. Entries must be submitted by 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Only digital photos will be accepted.

Winning contestants will receive their awards at Mill City’s Historic Railroad Bridge Centennial Celebration on Saturday, September 14, 2019, in Mill City where their winning photos will be framed and displayed. Following the celebration, the framed photographs will also be displayed at the City of Mill City and Marion County Public Works offices, and the digital images on the city’s and county’s websites.

For a full list of contest rules and to enter photos in the contest, visit the Mill City Historic Railroad Bridge Photo Contest web page at www.millcitybridge.com.

How to get 2 Weeks Ready

By Krista Carter, Marion County Emergency Management 

Disaster kit

For many years we’ve heard about being prepared for 72-hours; however, we have now learned that it could take professional help up to two weeks to respond in a major disaster such as a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake. In a large scale disaster, we have to count on our family, neighbors, and friends to all come together. Being prepared for self-sufficiency for two weeks can seem overwhelming, but with some preplanning and small additions to your kit each week you can be ready in just one year. Each week Marion County Emergency Management social media gives you tips on one item to add to your preparedness kit. By the end of the year you’ll have all the items you need to be prepared. Follow Marion County Emergency Management on Twitter @MarionCountyEM and Instagram @MarionCountyEM – or sign up for our monthly email. Catch up by searching #prep1yr. It’s never too late to start planning.