Today's Stop on the Land Use Trail: Sarah Helmick State Park

A few times a week this summer, we'll be featuring stops on our new Land Use Trail. Today, July 2: Sarah Helmick State Park. Often overlooked, this park conveys the love Oregonians have for preserving parts of nature for future generations.  

About: Sarah Helmick State Park, Oregon's first state park, is located south of Monmouth, in Polk County. The park lies along the floodplain of the Luckiamute River and is beautifully forested by Douglas fir, grand fir, ash, maple, cottonwood, and Port Orford cedar. The entirety of the park was acquired between the years of 1922 and 1985 and includes the first land given to the Oregon State Highway Commission for park purposes. The park was named after its original donor, Sarah Helmick, who came to Oregon in 1845 over the Oregon Trail, establishing a 640-acre Donation Land Claim with her husband Henry where the park is located today.

Cool Fact: Sarah, a native of Burlington, Iowa, originally donated 5.46 acres. Purchases and later donations from her descendants brought the total park acreage to 30 acres.

Visit: To enjoy solitude, exercising, picnicking and fishing. Located 5 miles south of Monmouth, just off Highway 99W.

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Photo credit: Cheryl Hill, via Flickr. Thanks to communications intern Nathen Lamb for help compiling this information.