The kick-off for the public visioning process in Oregon City at the First City Festival last weekend was a success as well as an excellent time. Folks kicked off the nine-month visioning and master planning process amongst the art, wine, food, and music for the former Blue Heron Paper Co. in downtown Oregon City at the First City Celebration Festival. Hundreds of people visited five interactive stations at the Festival to leave their vision for the future and to learn more about the Willamette Falls Legacy Project. Participants wrote their ideas on maps and then voted on others’ ideas for the future of the site. People also learned about the significance of the site by watching a PGE produced video about history of Willamette Falls. Visitors were also able to take a self-guided tour down to the site entrance gates at 4th and Main Street to explore with binoculars and to place their vision on a giant chalked map of the site drawn in the parking lot.
“We have received so many great comments and ideas from people today,” said Christina Robertson-Gardiner, project manager for the Willamette Falls Legacy Project. “People really care about the future of the site and want it to benefit their community as well as the region. It’s being seen as a terrific opportunity and we want as many people to participate that we can get.”
A “ribbon-cutting” ceremony in the evening was ushered in by Oregon City City Manager David Frasher; Metro Councilor Carlotta Collette; Clackamas County Board Chair John Ludlow; and Oregon City Mayor Doug Neeley. Rather than an actual ribbing-cutting, the elected officials kicked off the project by airing a “shift change” horn to everyone gathered at the festival.
For those who have not yet participated, there is still time to contribute your vision. We want to hear from you! Take the survey online by August 31 at rediscoverthefalls.com or contact Kelly Moosbrugger at the City of Oregon City, 503-496-1540, to schedule a community conversation. The Willamette Falls Legacy Project seeks to enhance economic development, allow people to experience the Falls, protect and create healthy habitats for plants and wildlife and provide opportunities for historical and cultural interpretation.
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