The blog has been quiet, but we’ve been busy. Somehow it’s been almost two months since we had the amazing Grand Opening of Cottonwood Canyon. We’re now hunkering down for winter as fewer visitors make the trip and we start to winterize the park.
Since the opening, the sage sniffers, hikers, hunters, fisher-kids and their fisher-parents and curious folks have come in a steady stream to visit the park. We even filled the campground the first week of October—and then realized we never ordered a “campground full” sign!
When our first camp hosts (John and Christina Collard & Bo and Mary Macnab) came in, we realized we never got around to putting in the camp host sign or a fire pit in the host sites. Luckily, they were understanding and even helped (ok, they did most of the work) put in the camp host sign, added rock around the site and installed a fire pit.
We hosted all 60 students of Condon’s kindergarten through sixth grade on Oct. 18, cooperating with Oregon State University Extension Service, Gilliam County Water Master, local artists, and the Native Fish Society. And yes, there are only 60 students in all of K-6 grades—hey, we live in a rural area. We hope to continue similar programs with other schools and groups. If you’re interested in coming out to any type of interpretive or educational program, leave a reply on this site and we’ll get back to you.
The Visitor Center was a wonderful small meeting room for a regional parks interpretive workshop and the Lower John Day Management Work Group. We hope to continue to use this space as a parks meeting room and develop a system for other groups to share the space.
Finally, the landscapers are putting in the trees, shrubs and a great demonstration garden of native plants. The contractors are finishing up the first phase of construction and we are actively planning the second phase of construction with irrigation and planting of the field and campground starting in December.
Watch for a series of posts in the coming months about future park plans and projects. If you haven’t come to visit, we can still have some great days in the canyon even though other areas may be rainy and cold. Check the weather and come on over!