Celebrating 100 years

mdi-chevron-left Feature Articles

Jan 18, 2022

A hundred years ago, state parks were barely an idea in Oregon, little more than patches of roadside greenery. A 5-acre donation in 1922 — setting aside a special place for everyone — became Oregon’s first official state park. Today, the state park system comprises 254 park properties and more than 100,000 acres.

In 2022, we invite you to join us in celebrating the places you hold dear: the viewpoints, the waterfalls, the trails, and the historic landmarks. It’s a time to reflect on the past 100 years and look to the future as we work together to preserve this legacy for the next generation.

Oregonians have several ways to participate in the Oregon State Parks centennial celebration:

Centennial Events

  • Oregon’s 163rd Birthday and Anniversary of Statehood virtual event on Feb. 12 will include a special OPRD history exhibit and live dedication. More details to come.
  • A community picnic at Oregon’s first state park, Sarah Helmick State Recreation Site in Monmouth, is set for State Parks Day June 4, 2022.
  • Additional events will be scheduled throughout the state and posted on the Oregon State Parks event calendar.

Parks throughout the state will also hand out special centennial gifts throughout the year.

100 Volunteer Projects For 100 Years

In honor of the legacy of service that has sustained the state parks system for a century, OPRD will host 100 service projects in 2022. Events will be posted throughout the year on our event calendar.

Social Media

We encourage you to post photos of your favorite state parks with hashtags #oregonstateparks and #oregonstateparks100. Follow Oregon State Parks on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for the latest centennial updates, and to participate in digital engagement opportunities.

Centennial Merchandise

Merchandise with a special edition centennial logo is for sale online now and will continue through 2022.

We are also partnering with artists including Carson Ellis, Aaron Draplin and Michelle Mark as well as organizations such as Belmont Blanket, Danner, Pendleton and Parks Project to help us celebrate our birthday. Look for collaborations for sale in the coming months.

History of Oregon State Parks

Samuel H. Boardman was the first Oregon State Parks director, and the park system grew to over 57,000 acres under his tenure. Watch Kevin Clark's documentary, The Father of Oregon State Parks, for narration of Boardman's writings and stunning historic photos.

Our timeline of the first 100 years spans two world wars, a post-war recreation boom, a funding crisis, and renewed public commitment to state parks. 

Check back for additional centennial details as they are announced.