Oregon State Parks gears up for centennial celebration in 2022

In 2022, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will kick off a year-long celebration that commemorates 100 years of Oregon State Parks. It all began with a 5-acre land donation in 1922 that became Oregon’s first official state park. A century later, the state park system comprises 254 properties and more than 100,000 acres. 

“In 2022, we celebrate the places Oregonians hold dear: the viewpoints, waterfalls, trails, and historic landmarks,” said OPRD Director Lisa Sumption. “We also honor the Oregonians who had the vision and wherewithal to set aside and safeguard these special places that we all enjoy today.”

From the first 5-acre land donation in 1922 until 1989, Oregon’s state park system grew within the Oregon Department of Transportation and its predecessor agencies. Oregon Parks and Recreation officially became an independent agency in 1990 with much fanfare and public engagement. 

In 1998, when some state parks were on the verge of closing, voters passed Measure 66, dedicating a portion of Oregon Lottery funding to OPRD. That vote provided the funding stability needed to keep parks open. That year, Oregon celebrated its first annual State Parks Day with free day-use parking and overnight camping. 

“State parks are here because you invested in them and helped care for them,” Sumption said. “The centennial is a celebration, but also a call to action. Only with your continued support can parks endure for the next 100 years.” 

Oregonians have several ways to participate in the Oregon State Parks centennial celebration:

Centennial Events

A community picnic at Oregon’s first state park, Sarah Helmick State Recreation Site in Monmouth, is set for State Parks Day June 4, 2022.  Additional events will be scheduled throughout the state and posted on the Oregon State Parks event calendar

Parks throughout the state will also hand out special centennial gifts throughout the year. 

100 Volunteer Projects For 100 Years

In honor of the legacy of service that has sustained the state parks system for a century, OPRD will host 100 service projects in 2022.  Events will be posted throughout 2022 on OPRD’s Volunteer Opportunities page.

Social Media 

State parks visitors are encouraged to post photos of their favorite state parks with hashtags #oregonstateparks and #oregonstateparks100. Follow Oregon State Parks on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for the latest centennial updates, and to participate in digital engagement opportunities. 

Centennial Merchandise

Merchandise with a special edition centennial logo designed by Michelle Mark is for sale online now and will continue through 2022. We are also partnering with artists including Carson Ellis and Aaron Draplin as well as organizations such as Belmont Blanket, Danner, Pendleton and Parks Project to help us celebrate our birthday. We are pleased to extend an invitation to others through a licensing agreement application. Interested parties can contact Communications Division Manager Jason Resch at 503-508-4149, or by email at jason.resch@oregon.gov.