Petersen Rock Garden needs repairs, volunteers

Hopes to make National Register of Historic Places

Volunteers clean and repair Petersen Rock Garden

REDMOND, Ore. - The Peterson Rock Garden in Redmond has suffered nearly two decades of neglect.
On Saturday, volunteers came out to help spruce it up.

It's the first step in what will be a lengthy task, but lead to a special reward.

The rock garden is considered an endangered historic site and the owners want to protect and preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

Volunteers were led by Owen Evans, the new development director for the Petersen Rock and Restoration Project.

This weekend was more strategic, mainly evaluating the sensitive nature of the project and where they want to go.

"It's something new and different that he has the ideas for," said Susan Caward, owner of the garden. "So we are going to see how that works out, and hopefully, it plays out the way we are hoping for -- we can get a lot of volunteers and get people interested in it again, get it all fixed up again, like we were kids."

Volunteer weekends at the garden will be held throughout the spring, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. from now until Memorial Day Weekend.

While there were just a handful of volunteers on Saturday, Owens said he hopes to have 10 teams of 10 volunteers to help finish the huge task.  

One of the reasons for all the sprucing up is that the rock garden is trying to get on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Deschutes County Historical Society submitted the proposal to the register.

There's quite a few steps to get on the list, though.

According to the national register Website, "A professional review board in each state considers each property proposed for listing and makes a recommendation on its eligibility."

The state review for the garden is next Thursday and Friday.

"I'm hopeful, and I think it will eventually happen," Evans said. "If it is not this time then maybe after its been repaired and remodeled, then it will pass. But I think it's on track -- according to my sources, they say it's favorable."

If the garden gets on the list, it would be able to get grants, which means more rehabilitation. It would also get more public recognition, and possibly even tax credits.

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