Resources from the Land and Water Conservation Fund headed to parks in Umatilla and Wasco counties

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Nugent Park in the city of Umatilla, and Thompson Park in The Dalles have secured a combined $718,222 in grants from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“Getting outside and enjoying parks in communities throughout Oregon is essential to quality of life in every nook and cranny of the state,” Wyden said. “I’m glad the Land and Water Conservation Fund that I’ve been proud to support continues to invest in local parks in our state like these that allow Oregonians of all ages to enjoy the outdoors in topnotch community facilities.”

“Local parks play a crucial role in vibrant communities by creating a space for friends and families to come together and enjoy the outdoors,” said Merkley. “These funds to improve parks in the City of Umatilla and The Dalles will make them more accessible and engaging, providing everyone who visits new and exciting ways to use these public spaces.” 

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) state & local assistance program provides matching grants for local and state park projects outside national park boundaries. These latest grants will be issued as follows in Oregon.

  1. $367,372 to the city of Umatilla to renovate and develop Nugent Park, replacing existing playground equipment with new play structures, including a nature structure and musical structure. A large group shelter, with accessible shelter amenities, will be installed along with accessible sidewalks, and restriped and resurfaced accessible parking.
  2. $350,850 to the Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District to expand the existing Thompson Park Skatepark to include a concrete bowl and an asphalt pumptrack. This 14,550-square-foot addition will transform the currently underused grass and dirt area adjacent to the skatepark into a destination for riders of all abilities.

“Park and recreation facilities are a critical part of a healthy and thriving community, and small districts like ours rely on grants to build the necessary facilities for those we serve,” said North Wasco County Parks and Rec executive director Scott Baker. “We are thrilled to receive this Land and Water Conservation Fund award which will enable us to expand our crowded skatepark and construct an asphalt pumptrack.  This project will provide a new, no-cost, activity for The Dalles residents and visitors and is scheduled for construction this fall.”

“The support of Senators Wyden and Merkley is greatly appreciated. This investment in Umatilla will support outdoor recreation and barrier-free play for multiple generations of Umatilla residents and visitors,’’ said Umatilla Mayor Caden Sipe. “I look forward to seeing the improvements created by this opportunity enjoyed by our community and appreciate our senators for making this possible.”