Lane County Parks Levy

An investment in our community's well-being, our shared values, and the unparalleled beauty that surrounds us

Lane County Parks Levy is a visionary initiative aimed at enhancing the natural treasures that grace our community. As we look ahead to the future, we recognize the need to nurture and maintain our cherished parks for generations to come. This dedicated effort, driven by the collective appreciation of our residents, promises to create a more vibrant, safe, and sustainable environment for everyone to enjoy.

A Vision of Improvement

Brought forth by the collaboration of dedicated individuals and community leaders, the Lane County Parks Levy seeks to embark on a transformative journey. With the passing of this measure, the five-year property tax levy is dedicated to enhancing and preserving the parks owned and managed by Lane County. This visionary initiative earned robust support from the community, illuminating the deep-seated value Lane County residents place on these natural havens.

Addressing Deferred Maintenance and Beyond

The Lane County Parks Levy, anticipated to generate approximately $31.5 million over five years, addresses a critical need – the backlog of deferred maintenance that has accrued in Lane County’s most frequented parks. Beyond this, the funds will be allocated towards modernizing facilities, ADA compliance and accessibility, engaging in restoration and conservation efforts, fostering education initiatives, enhancing trails, and more. This comprehensive approach ensures that our parks remain not just functional, but also places of inspiration and enrichment for all who visit.

Funding Allocations

Pie chart illustrating Parks Levy Budget

An Investment in Community

Lane County Parks historically relied on user fees and tourism-related taxes for support, with no property tax funding currently in place. With the Lane County Parks system encompassing nearly 70 properties, funding levels had proven inadequate for sustaining proper maintenance and substantial investment. The Lane County Parks Levy bridges this gap, inviting the community to invest in its own well-being, recreation, and natural legacy.
Pre-Levy revenue pie chart

Rolling Out the Vision: A Phased Approach

The Lane County Parks Levy projects are set to unfold in a carefully orchestrated series of phases:

Design and Planning: Expert teams will craft detailed plans for each improvement, ensuring that every element aligns with our community's vision and the unique character of our parks.

Permits and Contracting: Navigating the regulatory landscape, acquiring necessary permits, and securing trusted contractors are vital steps to ensure the success of each project.

Construction: The physical transformation begins as construction teams bring the designs to life, shaping our parks into vibrant spaces that embody the vision of the levy.

Completion: With construction wrapped up, the newly enhanced areas are unveiled, inviting you to experience the improved amenities, special projects, and conservation efforts firsthand.

Community Engagement: Throughout every stage of development, updates will be communicated via the Parks' social media profiles, quarterly E-newsletters, this webpage, park signage, Park Advisory Committee and Board of Commissioner Meetings. Additionally, annual progress reports will be provided. 

Financial Audit:  Annual independent financial audits will conducted. 

Levy Project Updates

Welcome to the gateway of transformation for our beloved parks. The Lane County Parks Levy, a testament to community dedication, is set to usher in a new era of park experiences. As you explore our projects, you'll discover that the levy's impact is far-reaching, touching three crucial domains: Park Amenities, Special Projects and Accessibility, and Conservation & Education. Dive into the details of these enhancements by selecting the tabs below.

Three Key Areas of Impact

Park Amenities

At the heart of the Lane County Parks Levy lies a commitment to creating a more inviting and enriching experience for every park enthusiast. This visionary initiative earmarks resources to revamp and upgrade park amenities, ensuring that each visit is not only memorable but also comfortable and convenient. With the support of this levy, we're excited to announce a comprehensive array of improvements that will redefine how you enjoy our cherished park spaces.

Park amenities budget allocation bar graph

Modern Restrooms for Ultimate Convenience
Your park visits will now be accompanied by modern, clean, and well-maintained restrooms. A total of $2,439,678 from the Lane County Parks Levy has been dedicated to upgrading and constructing restrooms, ensuring that your comfort is a top priority. These new facilities are designed to seamlessly blend with the natural surroundings while providing a much-needed amenity for families, individuals, and groups alike.

Embracing the Outdoors: Day Use, Shelters, and Pavilions
The great outdoors is meant to be shared and celebrated. With $1,310,428 allocated to day use areas, shelters, and pavilions, you'll find more welcoming spaces to gather, celebrate, and connect with loved ones. Whether you're planning a picnic, a family reunion, or a community event, these enhanced facilities will provide the perfect setting to bask in the beauty of our parks.

Navigating with Ease: Paving and Curbs
Exploring your favorite parks is now more convenient than ever, thanks to the investment of $6,447,210 in paving and curbs. Say goodbye to uneven paths and difficult terrain. With improved pathways, accessibility becomes a reality for all park-goers. Whether you're pushing a stroller, using a wheelchair, or simply seeking a smooth stroll, these upgrades ensure that everyone can traverse the parks with ease.

Seamless Functionality: Upgraded Site Utilities
Behind every well-functioning park is a strong infrastructure. The Lane County Parks Levy dedicates $1,362,637 to enhancing site utilities, ensuring that our parks remain sustainable and efficient. From lighting that extends your park enjoyment into the evening hours to utilities that support the activities you love, these improvements lay the foundation for an exceptional park experience.

Beyond the Ordinary: Other Features and Improvements
In the spirit of innovation and enrichment, $1,146,613 has been allocated to implementing other captivating features and improvements across our parks. These additions are poised to surprise and delight, enhancing the overall ambiance and ensuring that each visit feels like a new adventure.

Embracing Waterway Access for All
For those who seek the calming embrace of lakes, the delight of fishing or the excitement of riding river rapids, the Lane County Parks Levy dedicates $1,178,103 to improving waterway access. From serene lakeside spots to picturesque riverbanks, these enhancements ensure that connecting with nature's aquatic wonders is both safe and accessible for everyone.

Your Park Experience, Elevated
The Lane County Parks Levy doesn't just promise improvements; it delivers a transformational shift in how you experience our parks. These amenities funded by the levy pave the way for comfortable, enjoyable, and inclusive visits for individuals, families, and groups alike. As we collectively invest in our natural spaces, we invite you to immerse yourself in the beauty and functionality of our parks, reaping the rewards of a community that values your comfort and recreation.

Special Projects and Accessibility

Experience the future of parks through our Special Projects. With $4.2 million in allocations, we're set to redefine your park experience:

Facilities: Expand Armitage Campground, enhance Howard Buford Recreation Area North Trailhead Restroom, and improve North Jetty facilities for $1.25 million. 

Cooperative Projects: Enrich our community through $820,000 for Blue River Park, the McKenzie River Discovery Center, and a Regional Pickleball Facility.

Water Access: $850,000 for improved water access at various locations.  Learn more about Lane County Parks accessibility projects.

Site Security: Invest $750,000 in Sheriff’s Deputy security and work crew support for your safety and peace of mind.

Trails at Buford/Pisgah: $500,000 for trails, accessibility, and informative kiosks.

Habitat Restoration: Invest $330,000 in conservation with Friends of Buford Park Habitat and the McKenzie River Trust's Finn Rock Reach.

Environmental Education: Cultivate learning and connection with $500,000 for educators, bilingual walks, forums, and youth scholarships.

Conservation & Education

Conservation and Education are at the heart of the Parks Levy's vision. We recognize the profound importance of nurturing our natural resources and fostering a deeper connection with our environment. From habitat restoration projects to educational programs that inspire the next generation of environmental stewards, these initiatives ensure that our parks remain not just recreational spaces, but also thriving ecosystems and centers of learning.

The Parks Levy fosters a greener, smarter future with $1.0 million:

Habitat Stewardship: Invest $350,000 in our Natural Areas Program for vital habitat preservation.

Riparian Restoration: Dedicate $270,000 for revitalizing riparian and floodplain zones.

Interpretive & Recreation: Ignite learning with $100,000 each for interpretive and recreation programs.

McKenzie Water Trail: Enhance water experiences with $75,000 for trail signage and a guide.

EV Charging Stations: Promote sustainability with $30,000 for electric vehicle charging.

Equity and Inclusion

Lane County is firmly committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within its community, exemplifying this dedication through its public works and parks initiatives. As outlined on the official Lane County webpage, the county places a strong emphasis on ensuring that all residents have equitable access to the benefits of their parks and services. The Lane County Parks Levy is a prime example of this commitment, aiming to enhance the quality of life for all its residents. By investing in parks, trails, and recreational facilities, Lane County is actively working to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone, regardless of their background, can enjoy the numerous recreational opportunities and natural beauty the region has to offer. This commitment to DEI not only enhances the well-being of the community but also reflects Lane County's dedication to building a more equitable and just society for all.

Equity Survey:
At Lane County Parks, we believe that every person deserves equal access to our beautiful natural spaces. We recognize that different communities may have unique perspectives on what makes a park welcoming and inclusive. In 2023, we conducted an equity survey designed to gather your opinions on a range of topics related to park accessibility, amenities, programming, and more.  Results available soon!

Your feedback helps us identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to ensure that our parks cater to everyone's needs.

Stay Informed:
As we work to implement changes based on the insights gained from the survey, we'll keep you updated through our official channels. Be sure to follow us on social media, check our website, and subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed about the progress we're making toward more equitable parks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can voters know the funds are being used as proposed?

Voters can be assured that the funds from the proposed park levy will be used as intended through a robust system of transparency and accountability. A series of measures are in place to ensure that the allocated funds are being utilized effectively for the proposed projects.

Yearly Audit: The funds generated from the park levy will be subject to a thorough yearly audit. This audit will be conducted by a third-party auditing firm with expertise in financial oversight. The audit will meticulously review the allocation of funds, expenditures, and the progress of individual projects. This process ensures that the financial transactions are accurate, lawful, and in line with the intended purpose of the levy.

Progress Reporting: Regular progress reports will be compiled and presented to both the Lane County Board of Commissioners and the community. These reports will detail the advancement of each project funded by the levy. By providing comprehensive updates on project milestones, spending, and accomplishments, these reports maintain an open line of communication between the governing body and the public.

Community Engagement: Transparency extends beyond reporting. Public engagement will be encouraged throughout the process. Regular updates will be shared through various communication channels, including public meetings, newsletters, and the county's official website. This engagement not only informs the community about the progress of projects but also invites feedback and suggestions, fostering a sense of shared responsibility.

Oversight by Elected Officials: The Board of Commissioners, elected by the community, will play a vital role in overseeing the proper utilization of the levy funds. Their responsibility includes reviewing audit results, progress reports, and ensuring that the projects align with the stipulated goals of the levy.

How will levy funds improve park security?

This commitment to safety is underpinned by a multi-faceted approach that includes bolstering ranger staff in our most frequented parks and enhancing park signage.

Increasing Ranger Staff: Levy funds will also facilitate the recruitment and deployment of additional ranger staff in our most heavily visited parks. These skilled professionals will serve as dedicated points of contact for park visitors, offering assistance, answering queries, and ensuring that park rules and regulations are observed. Their proactive presence will contribute to a safer and more enjoyable park experience.

Enhanced Signage: An important aspect of park security is effective and inclusive communication. With levy support, improvements will be made to park signage, ensuring clear directions, safety guidelines, and emergency contact information are readily available to all visitors. Well-designed and informative signage not only promotes safety awareness but also empowers visitors to make informed decisions while exploring the parks.

Continuous Adaptation: As part of the commitment to safety, levy funds will be invested in ongoing training for ranger staff. This ensures that our security measures remain up-to-date and aligned with the evolving needs of our parks and their visitors.

In essence, the proposed park levy demonstrates our dedication to elevating security standards. Through a strong partnership with the Sheriff's Office, augmented ranger staff in key parks, and improved signage, we aim to create parks that provide not only recreational opportunities but also a genuine sense of security for everyone. Your support of the levy enables us to implement these strategic measures that enhance the well-being of our community members and park enthusiasts.

How much does the Parks levy cost me?

Affordable and Impactful

The estimated tax rate for the proposed levy stands at $0.16 per $1,000 of assessed value. This translates to an average cost of approximately $3.20 per month, or less than $40 per year, for five years for the median Lane County homeowner. The modest financial commitment from each household results in a collective impact that will resonate through improved facilities, enriched educational opportunities, and the preservation of our natural heritage. 

Lane County Parks Levy is an investment in our community's well-being, our shared values, and the unparalleled beauty that surrounds us.

Measure 20-335 Documents

These documents were approved by the Oregon Secretary of State.

Lane County Parks Proposed Levy 2022 Frequently Asked Questions Page 1

Lane County Parks Proposed Levy 2022 Frequently Asked Questions Page 2
Lane County Parks Proposed Levy 2022 Information Sheet Page 1
Lane County Parks Proposed Levy 2022 Information Sheet Page 2

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