Celebrating 100 years

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Jun 7, 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.

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.

Sarah Helmick State Recreation Site joins National Register of Historic Places

One of Oregon's special places and the very first state park receives a special birthday present! Sarah Helmick and her son James donated a little more than 5-acres of land along the Luckiamute River in 1922 and it's now Sarah Helmick State Recreation Site. On June 4, 2022, this lovely park was the scene for the Centennial Birthday Party commemorating 100 years of Oregon State Parks. Read more information about the National Register listing.


Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani shares his thoughts
in a poem written for the Centennial


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.