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** 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.




Forest Trail
Mildred's house - Originally built pre-1900

Our Mission

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.

Mildred’s Gift

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.

Forest Trail
Trail through one of the park's beautiful forests

Our Community’s Treasure

Today the park has much to offer a visitor -


What we do

Colorful Peacock
Male peacock displaying his colors
Nature trail Work Party
Work Party building the Nature Trail


We Can Use Your Help

We are supported by those who cherish Mildred’s land. Join The Friends or get involved and see how you can contribute to the park or become a volunteer.


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
Historic Oakland
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
Wildlife Safari
American Bird Conservatory
Oakland Elementary and Middle School
The Northwest Youth Corps
Eagle Scouts
Douglas County Public Works

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