BEND, Ore. - The community is invited to dedicate Miller's Landing Park, the Bend Park & Recreation District's newest riverfront park, on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Situated across the Deschutes River from McKay Park, the 4.7-acre park is located at 80 NW Riverside Boulevard.
Event parking is limited. Attendees are encouraged to use alternative transportation or park across the river adjacent to McKay Park and cross the footbridge to Miller's Landing.
Nearly completed, Miller's Landing Park will feature picnic shelters, a community garden, open lawns and paved trails and offer opportunities for picnicking, gardening, lawn play, nature and bird watching, boating, river access, walking and Deschutes River Trail connectivity.
The park is richly rooted in Bend's history. In 1877, Stephen Staats, as in Staats Street in downtown Bend, filed claim for the land which is now home to the park.
The parkland was at one time ranched, home to a hotel and the site of one of Bend's early post offices.
In 1924, Harry Miller, owner of Miller Lumber Company, bought the land. Its location just downriver from the Shevlin-Hixon and Brooks Scanlon mills was an ideal site for a lumber holding area, staging area for delivery wagons and stable for horses.
Many years later, when horses were replaced with gas engine vehicles, the company no longer actively used the property. In time, the land's primary use was by locals to access the river.
In 2010, The Trust for Public Land led an effort to raise community funds to contribute to the purchase of the land from current property owners, the Miller family and Brooks Resources Corporation, with the goal of preserving the land as a community park.
Greg Cushman, TPL board member and local community advocate, led the campaign and more than 500 people contributed, helping raise $700,000 to purchase the land for all to enjoy forever.
After extensive community involvement to design the park, the park's final touches will be completed this fall.
For additional information on Miller's Landing Park, visit www.bendparksandrec.org or contact the Bend Park & Recreation District Office at (541) 389-7275.