Donations are now being accepted for the Library Park, a project of the Tillamook County Library Foundation.

The property next to the Main Library in Tillamook was purchased five years ago. Two years ago, the fundraising started. The plans are on display in the lobby of the Main Library.

You can make donations by buying a square foot of the park for $5. Benches will also be available for purchase with a nameplate. Pavers will be available for purchase with a plate in the middle of the pavers. Donations for the stage are also needed to complete the Library Park.

The park is a public place designated as a forum for the arts. Public displays of art, in many forms, provide cultural, social, and economic benefits and will be prime park experiences. Artistic and cultural programs for both children and adults will be available.

The Foundation received a $49, 750 Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency (TURA) grant from the City of Tillamook in April of this year for the park. The large tree on the property has been trimmed and will remain as a feature of the park. A water feature of two young children holding an umbrella with the water coming out of the top of the umbrella will be installed this fall in the quiet area.

Park construction began on Aug. 29. Terry Philips, from the North Coast Lawn, is doing the building of the project. Brad Jacobs is the general contractor.

Pacific Restaurant recently held a benefit dinner for the cause. Sep. 28th’s fundraiser featuring Chris Arellano and his touring band raised $1,200, including a donation of profit proceeds by Neila Bautista of Pacific Restaurant to the park.

The next fundraising effort will be for the phase two of the project, which includes a small stage in the back corner of the park. The stage will be for programs, plays, and music. Towards the end of the project, a frog statue and the dancing children statues will be placed in the park. These statues are currently living inside the Library.

Ruth LaFrance, Chair of the Tillamook Library Foundation, said the last things that will be developed for the project will be a heritage mural.

“This will show different groups that have been involved in the development of Tillamook County,” LaFrance said.

Oysters, loggers, the wood industry, and many other groups will be included.

“A perimeter fence will be built instead of a retaining wall,” LaFrance said.

 It was discovered that the retaining wall could damage trees, and vice versa. The perimeter wall costs more than a retaining wall, LaFrance said.

LaFrance said that an estimated $175,000 needs to be raised to complete the Library Park. The Foundation will be applying for more grants next year.

“People have been generous,” LaFrance said of the donors.

Cathie Fouret, a master quilter, donated all of her quilts to the Foundation, who sold them and made $4,600.

“It jump-started everything,” LaFrance said.

A NASA ambassador saw the plans for the park last year and was impressed with the idea. He donated $500.

Citizens have been buying $5 one-foot land plots since reading about it in the Headlight Herald. One person purchased $1,000 worth of land plots.

“Raising money for phase two will possibly be easier once phase one is done,” LaFrance said.

LaFrance said the park is for everyone in the county and benefits people who live in the city of Tillamook. She thinks lots of groups will use it, especially because it will be free and open to the public. It will also be able to be reserved for private use. When the library is open, the park will be. LaFrance said the Library Board will have to decide if they want to open it when the library is closed, like Sundays.

The Tillamook County Library Foundation is a 501 © (3) nonprofit. They purchased the property and the county endorses it. The Foundation is building the park, which means the project isn’t coming out of tax payer money but grants and donations that the foundation receives.

The finished project will include a park entry portico, stage, water feature, benches, and landscaping. Eight benches are planned for installation and a bench with an inscribed plaque may be purchased for $1,000. One hundred pavers with a cutout for a brass plaque will also be installed, and a plaque can be purchased for $250. A bronze sculpture of a boy and girl holding on an umbrella fountain carries out the theme of “Children at Play.”

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