** Park Budget Issues, June 2016 **
On June 27, The Friends sent the following letter to our members....
Re: Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park Budget Issues, June 26, 2016
On Monday, June 20, 2016, Gary Groth, Parks Director and Susan Morgan of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, invited representatives of Friends of Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park Association and representatives of the Roseburg Chapter of Oregon Equestrian Trails to a meeting set for Thursday, June 23, 2016 to discuss the budget for Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park.
Groth and Morgan provided a budget summary that estimates a $26,000 budget shortfall for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. The parks department will have spent $10,000 over budgeted expenses and will have realized $16,000 less revenue than the County anticipated.
Morgan stated that she wants Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park to repay the $26,000 to the County. Morgan stated that the County has begun discussions to close, sell, or log Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park, if the County is not repaid the $26,000 in the very near future. Morgan’s expectation is that the Friends and Equestrians will develop a plan to raise and return $26,000 to the County.
We were shocked to learn of budget issues at this late date. The County has proposed a nearly identical budget for the upcoming Fiscal year. There was no discussion about any budget issues for Kanipe Park during recent budget hearings or at recent PAB meetings. The County must have been aware of any issues well in advance of budget preparation. The County budget will be adopted June 29, 2016 and we were only just informed of potential budget issues on June 23, 2016.
A subsequent meeting is planned for Monday, August 15, 2016 at 9:00 am with the new Parks Director, Rocky Houston, (who will be bringing his experience as Trails Coordinator from the Oregon State Parks Department) and Commissioner Tim Freeman (who will resume the role of Parks Department / BOC Liaison, effective July 1).
In the meantime, The Friends of Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park Association board members have requested to meet with Commissioner Freeman.
Additionally the Friends board has met in an emergency executive session meeting.
The board appreciates the strong support from each of our members and from our community organizations in Douglas County and looks forward to continued collaboration with the county, our communities and our members to identify ways to increase revenue and decrease expenses to operate and maintain Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park.
Please visit Friends of Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park Website and Facebook Page for updates.
Mildred's house - Originally built pre-1900
The mission of this organization shall be to provide volunteer services for the purpose of restoring, improving, maintaining and protecting the natural resources of the park such as land, plants and animals, the historic structures present in the park and other park improvements such as fences, restrooms, picnic areas, etc. for the purpose of providing recreational, educational and cultural experiences for the public, in accordance with the conditions of Mildred Kanipe’s Will and to raise funds to cover as much as possible of the related costs.
In 1983, Mildred Kanipe, a colorful farmer passed away, and left her beloved ranch to the public as a county park. Mildred’s gift included almost 1,100 acres of land consisting of pastures, creeks, rolling hills, orchards and forests. Historical structures include a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, a farmhouse, and outbuildings. She wished the buildings to be preserved, a ranch museum developed, equestrian trails to be available and the land was to remain an animal refuge, the land and plants preserved.
The Friends’ Origins
In 2005, due to the financial burden, the Douglas County Commissioners were considering returning the park to the Mildred Kanipe Trust. People organized to help the park remain in the public domain and open to the people, and, The Friends of Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park Association, Inc. (501 c 3, nonprofit tax exempt) was created. We are committed to keep the park as public land for the enjoyment of visiters.
Trail through one of the park's beautiful forests
Our Community’s TreasureToday the park has much to offer a visitor -
- Extensive trails pass thru majestic forests, oak woodlands, lush pastures, over creeks and offers spectacular views. The trails are open to horses March 16th through October 31st, and year-round for hikers. A pavilion next to equestrian parking offers a place to sit, eat or chat.
- Mildred’s home, sheep barn, horse barn and buggy shed still stand. Due to lack of monies, sorely needed renovations have not occurred, but the structures are just as interesting in their deteriorating condition. Some of Mildred’s old farm machinery is on display. Mildred is buried next to her home.
- A picnic area under shady trees is enjoyed in the Farmstead area. Colorful peacocks cry out among the trees.
- A relaxing and enjoyable nature trail has been designed and constructed by Friends of the Umpqua Hiking Club and the Douglas Soil & Water Conservation District. Native plants, many provided by Native Plant Society, are being planted.
- The old schoolhouse has received new foundation, paint, windows and a new roof. Next is refurbishing interior. Educational events are planned for the future.
- Special events, such as organized equestrian rides, weddings, family reunions and festivities occur regularly.
- The land is leased for cattle which roam most of the acres in the park. This lease is a major source of income for the park.
What we do
Male peacock displaying his colors
Work Party building the Nature Trail
- The Friends provide volunteer services to restore, improve, maintain, and protect the land, plants and animals, and historic structures.
- We raise funds to help Douglas County with the park's expenses.
- We advocate for heightened community awareness and appreciation for the unique nature of the park's lands and structures.
We Can Use Your Help
Find the Park
Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park is located 8 miles northeast of Oakland, Oregon at 16513 Elkhead Road. Click here for map.
Together we help care for Mildred’s Land
Tyee Outdoor Experience
Douglas County Historical Society
Oregon Cultural Trust
Douglas County Parks
Oregon Equestrian Trails
Friends of the Umpqua Hiking Group
Douglas Soil and Water Conservation District
Native Plant Society of Oregon
Roseburg Road Runners
Douglas County Cultural Coalition
Oregon Dressage Society
Bureau of Land Management
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Douglas Forest Protective Association
Wolf Creek Job Corps
Yoncalla High School
American Bird Conservatory
Oakland Elementary and Middle School
The Northwest Youth Corps
Douglas County Public Works