The winding path to completion

A curving path, flanked to the south by an arching rock wall build by Mount Hood Gardens forms an inviting entry from the Sixth Street, or western, end of the park. Most of the park is currently off-l

By Esther Smith

News staff writer

July 6, 2005

Fresh plantings in the shaded area just west of the library building give a preview of what is to come as the Georgiana Smith Memorial Park takes shape.

Amid the piles of dirt and rubble and caution tape are some beautiful areas of rock work, plantings and new concrete paths, forming what Librarian June Knudson called “good bones starting to show” in the park restoration project.

There is still much to be done, but it’s already possible to visualize the finished product.

More concrete must be poured, the irrigation system needs to be put in place, and much paving, seeding, and planting remains to be done, but things are really shaping up.

Marion McNew of Mount Hood Gardens, who did the landscape design, is happy with the progress so far, though “You always wish you could get things done sooner!” she said. “We really worked hard to get the sidewalk done by the 4th, since we knew more people would be walking through; but it’s still only partially done.”

As hard as the crews are working on the park itself, members of the Library Foundation are also working to raise the funds needed to pay for it. The recent fund-raising concert at Jackson Park netted $2,100, but that still leaves a large sum to raise.

Naming opportunities still remain for trees, benches, and bricks, for contributions ranging from $50 to $1,000 or more; but donations in any amount are welcome.

The total cost for the project is $176,000. The Foundation has already received a $50,000 in-kind donation of labor and materials from the Hood River Parks and Buildings Department. According to Knudson, other grants are still awaiting decisions and there is another fund-raiser coming up: the George Rouches Memorial Golf Tournament on July 24.

“We have sold two patios (naming opportunities), and that’s $20,000.” she said. “And we are still working hard to get our first brick order done.”

Meanwhile, the physical work continues.

“When it’s finished, I think it’s even going to surpass how I visualized it,” McNew said. “It’s going to be wonderful.”

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