Missed the first Dog Day at Tetherow? Doggone it, it's not too late!

Participants used stuffed dogs to practice first aid and CPR skills at Tetherow Homestead. Photo by Dennis Fehling

Participants used stuffed dogs to practice first aid and CPR skills at Tetherow Homestead. Photo by Dennis Fehling

Participants gathered last Saturday morning in sunny Tetherow Crossing Park to learn the basics of dog CPR and First Aid.  Instructor Dennis Fehling of Friends for Life Dog Training in Redmond also walked the group through the ins and outs of scene management – how to safeguard yourself and the injured animal when you are the first responder to an animal-involved accident.

Dennis Fehling of Friends for Life Dog Training explains how to approach an accident scene.

Dennis Fehling of Friends for Life Dog Training explains how to approach an accident scene.

Topics covered included how to MacGyver a home-made muzzle from materials you might have on hand, such as shoelaces or a belt to ensure you can safely respond to an injured dog you don’t know without getting big, five different points where you can check a dog’s pulse, how to administer CPR to different-sized dogs, and how to respond to various choking scenarios.  Not only did the participants agree the class left them better able to respond in an emergency, they also felt more confident that they wouldn’t be helpless if their dog – or another injured dog – needed their help.

Participants practice clearing airway obstructions and administering rescue breaths.

Participants practice clearing airway obstructions and administering rescue breaths.

Dennis agreed to volunteer his time to teach the course because he believes in giving back to the community, and as a way of spreading this valuable knowledge of how to help animals in an emergency situation.  Assisting in the class was Sarah McCoy, a member of the Friends for Life Dog Training team and instructor of next Saturday’s course on Calming Relational Massage for dog owners to perform on their dogs.

Dennis Fehling, far right, and Sarah McCoy, second from right, give instructions.

Dennis Fehling, far right, and Sarah McCoy, second from right, give instructions.

Sarah is certified through the Animal Behavior College in Pet Grooming and Dog Behavior and Training, as well as Pet Massage, Cat Behavior and Management, and Pet Nutrition and Diet.  She enjoys sharing what she has learned – and is continually learning – with owners who would like to grow in their knowledge of their pets.  With expertise in such diverse fields, Sarah wears many hats.  “At Paws In Hand, we offer positive reinforcement-based training and will in the future also provide mobile pet grooming,” she says of her business.

Sarah has also agreed to donate her time to this course to support the historic preservation of the Tetherow Homestead.  Built in 1878, the homestead is the oldest house in Deschutes County and was the site of one of the first three crossings of the Deschutes River, the first use of the Deschutes for irrigation, and also the site of the first brewery in the county.  “I live close to the Tetherow Homestead,” Sarah says, “and I’ve always enjoyed walking along the river near it.  I look forward to seeing the house restored and the property maintained.  It’s a beautiful, tranquil place to visit.”

Tranquil Tetherow Crossing Park, and the historic homestead, viewed from the Deschutes River

Tranquil Tetherow Crossing Park, and the historic homestead, viewed from the Deschutes River

Did you miss the CPR and First Aid class but you’d still like to join us for dog massage this weekend?  Don’t worry!  We are pro-rating the last 3 courses in this unique dog care series so it’s not too late!  Call us at 541-548-7275 to sign up or drop by Cascade Swim Center or the Activity Center on Canal behind Bi-Mart. 

Kids 7 & up are welcome and encouraged to attend – we hope to get Pam from Friends for Life out to do some awesome demonstrations with her nose work student dogs who can find objects by scent even out in Tetherow Crossing Park!

The schedule for the remaining classes is as follows:

May 20th – 10 – 11:30.  Learn massage therapy tips for dogs from Sarah McCoy of Friends for Life Dog Training.

June 10th – Dr. Bernadette Hartman, DVM will present a class on how to use essential oils for your dog. 10 – 11.

For the above classes, instructors will bring their own dogs to demonstrate the techniques.  Please do not bring your dog unless specifically requested.

June 24th – grooming tips from Shannon Dayton, a professional local dog groomer.  Learn how to clip your dog’s nails, clean their ears, the basics of grooming different types of coats, some tips on products and tools, etc.  10 – 11.  As long as your dogs are DOG FRIENDLY and won’t be distracting in the group class, you can bring your dog to get tips on specific grooming issues.

The Deschutes River, viewed from one of the oldest crossing points in the county.

The Deschutes River, viewed from one of the oldest crossing points in the county.

If you'd like to support our efforts to restore the Tetherow Homestead, you can donate at any of our facilities, by phone (541-548-7275) or online:

 

(Note: if you are reading this in email, some carriers like Gmail disable the PayPal link.  You can click here to donate through our blog in your browser.)

Dog Days at Tetherow

Photo by Friends for Life Dog Training

Photo by Friends for Life Dog Training

Central Oregonians are serious about our dogs.  Especially in the summer, our dogs come with us on camping trips, hikes, and even rafting and paddle boarding!  Also, as a time when more dogs are outside, dogs can be at greater risk of accident and injury in the summer.  That means the start of summer is a great time to learn more about how to take care of your dog – and even other dogs you might find outside injured.  Healthy dogs can also reap the benefits of proper grooming, massage therapy, and essential oils.  If you want to give your dogs a great summer, and attend to their health and well-being in new ways, come join a diverse cast of local dog experts in hourly classes in their fields of expertise.  

Photo by Friends for Life Dog Training

Photo by Friends for Life Dog Training

Photo by Friends for Life Dog Training

Photo by Friends for Life Dog Training

This series of classes will take place in Tetherow Crossing Park (5810 NW Tetherow Rd. in Redmond), and the instructors have generously volunteered their time so that all registration fees will go to support the restoration of the AJ Tetherow homestead, the oldest house in Deschutes County (1878).  Before and after class, participants can enjoy beautiful Tetherow Crossing Park, right on the Deschutes River, and learn more about the history of the homestead and its role as a critical point of transportation in the settlement of Central and Eastern Oregon.  For more about the homestead and our efforts to preserve the historic structure, you can check out our blog post on Tetherow Crossing.

Tetherow Crossing Park 2017

Tetherow Crossing Park 2017

One affordable registration fee (going to a good cause) gets you four seminars with local dog experts starting this month:

May 13th – Learn Pet CPR and First Aid in an Emergency – tips for your own dogs and how to respond to a dog you might find injured on the road.  Taught by Dennis Fehling of Friends for Life Dog Training. 10-11:30.  Stay for a nose work demonstration!

May 20th – 10 – 11:30.  Learn massage therapy tips for dogs from Sarah McCoy of Friends for Life Dog Training.

June 10th – Dr. Bernadette Hartman, DVM will present a class on how to use essential oils for your dog. 10 – 11.

For the above classes, instructors will bring their own dogs to demonstrate the techniques.  Please do not bring your dog unless specifically requested.

June 24th – grooming tips from Shannon Dayton, a professional local dog groomer.  Learn how to clip your dog’s nails, clean their ears, the basics of grooming different types of coats, some tips on products and tools, etc.  10 – 11.  As long as your dogs are DOG FRIENDLY and won’t be distracting in the group class, you can bring your dog to get tips on specific grooming issues.

Kids 7 & up are welcome to attend with an adult, but to provide a safe environment, we ask that only kids participating in the class under adult supervision attend.

$40 per adult. 

1 child 7 & up can participate free with adult participant.  Additional kids who want to learn the techniques and attend with an adult, $20.

Pre-registration is required.

Meet some of the generous experts donating their time to help RAPRD preserve this piece of Oregon heritage and spread awareness of these important dog care techniques:

Photo by Friends for Life Dog Training

Photo by Friends for Life Dog Training

Photo by Friends for Life Dog Training

Photo by Friends for Life Dog Training

Dennis Fehling describes Friends for Life Dog Training as “a professional dog training business with a mission to help our clients and their dogs stay together through the use of positive reinforcement-based dog training.”  Friends for Life offers a variety of fun classes for puppies and adult dogs.  “We teach a puppy class for socialization,” Dennis explains, “and we teach older dogs manners so they can learn to live with their humans.”

Dennis will be teaching Pet CPR and First Aid in an Emergency.  “We live in a very dog-based community,” he observes.  “At any time you could face an emergency with your dog either at home or out in our beautiful part of the state.  Our goal of the class is to give our students a basic understanding of how to properly do CPR, and help an animal that is choking or bleeding through the use of proven specific techniques that anyone can do and should learn.”  Dennis agreed to give up a summer Saturday to volunteer for RAPRD, he says, because “We love giving back to our community in any way we can.  This was something we could support, as well as get our message out about positive based dog training.”

Dr. Bernadette Hartman has a veterinary practice in Bend and is also a nationally recognized speaker on the Animal Human Connection.  “My practice is focused on holistic veterinary care and intuitive energy healing for owners and their animals,” she explains, “I look at the whole picture including mind, body, spirit, energy and emotions.  Working with behavioral and emotional issues within the Animal Human Connection while helping people become empowered and more connected to their animals is a huge passion and large part of my practice.”

Dr. Bernadette Hartman, DVM

Dr. Bernadette Hartman, DVM

Dr. Hartman will be teaching the class Behavior, Emotions, and Essential Oils for the Animal Human Connection.  “I feel this is important to help owners understand how and why their animals are displaying behaviors or emotions,” she describes, “how animals are reading energy and how and why essential oils are so important in supporting the Animal Human Connection.”  Dr. Hartman believes that this understanding is important to help owners “create a deeper connection and understanding of their animals and the roles they are playing in their lives.” She explains that the Animal Human Connection contains great healing potential, with the power to uplift and change lives. “This is what I help animals and owners find - deep authentic relationships and connection to ones truth.  The healing truly benefits both owners and their beloved animals.”

Dr. Hartman has agreed to donate her time to give back to the community in this way not only because of her passion for helping animals and their owners, but also because she believes the historic site has a special cultural significance for the county.  “The importance of preserving something that means so much to so many, and can offer a place of continued connection, is very powerful.  This will benefit future generations and all of us here in the present.  It's a win-win for all!”

Come out to Tetherow Park this summer to learn these important dog care skills and support the restoration of an important piece of Deschutes County heritage!  If you can’t make it to the dog care seminar this year but you’d like to support the historic preservation of the Tetherow Homestead, you can make a donation at the pool or the RAPRD Activity Center, or online.

 

(Note: if you are reading this in email, some carriers like Gmail disable the PayPal link.  You can click here to donate through our blog in your browser.)

Tetherow Homestead c. 1915

Tetherow Homestead c. 1915

Tetherow Homestead 2017

Tetherow Homestead 2017

Donations Flow to Support Redmond Homeless in April Showers Campaign

April Showers poster.jpg

Perhaps you’ve seen this sign on flyers at Cascade Swim Center or the RAPRD Activity Center.  We at RAPRD take our role in the Redmond community seriously.  Our programs are made possible by public support and we, in turn, make it possible for the public to participate in fitness and recreation offerings without the membership fees required by private clubs and gyms.  Although our primary purpose is not social services, our role as a public entity dedicated to community wellness uniquely positions us to serve otherwise underserved populations. 

We endeavor to never lose track of that sense of purpose.  For example, our Adventure Quest before and after school program, and our Camp Adventure Quest summer program for kids provides healthy snacks to keep kids full of energy and playing hard all day.  We offer scholarships so that community members have the opportunity to experience wellness and recreation programs regardless of ability to pay.  We offer our Hero Pass to honor Redmond veterans and encourage them to participate in programs with their families.

Longer than all these programs, however, going back decades, we have offered use of our shower facilities at a low cost.  We understand that, for many in Redmond, recreational and enrichment programming simply isn’t on the table.  We want to do our part to make wellness a possibility even for those who must dedicate all their money, all their time, and all their energy just to getting by.

Photo by Mark O'Rourke

Photo by Mark O'Rourke

Around 1 in 5 of the homeless or housing insecure in Central Oregon is considered “unsheltered,” meaning camping, squatting, or living out of a car.  Some families may “double up” with neighbors or friends, and some may live in RVs without utilities.  Central Oregon’s homeless include veterans and the elderly, and more than 40% of Central Oregon’s homeless population are children under 18.

These numbers only scratch the surface.  According to Chris Clouart, Managing Director at Bethlehem Inn homeless shelter in Bend, “the annual homeless count is a snapshot.  It has a limited reach.  If you are accessing the shelters, you are in a position to be counted, but if you are trying to keep your campsite from being found and taken away from you, you are probably off the radar.”  Clouart estimates that the annual homeless count doesn’t capture a sizeable percentage of Central Oregon’s homeless.  “The count is probably inaccurate by about a third,” he says.

Photo by Karim Corban

Photo by Karim Corban

Homelessness increases in the summer as an influx of hard-working people move to the area to fill the seasonal jobs that tourism and construction bring to the area.  With housing prices high and climbing, and a very tight rental market, these people might have regular jobs but no place to live.  They’re filling a needed gap in the workforce, trying to do jobs that keep Central Oregon’s economy humming in the summers, but they don’t have access to something as basic as showers or running water.  They don’t fit the stereotypical image most people have of a homeless person, and in fact, don’t see themselves that way.  “They’re living out of their car, so they aren’t homeless in their own eyes,” Clouart explains.  They’re a hard working man or woman who says “well, I’m not homeless, I just can’t find housing.’”  This mindset means that people who are working, but unsheltered may not seek help from local resources. 

For people in this situation, “The most critical issues are the issues of hygiene,” Clouart explains, “Running water just seems like such a natural thing to most people.  You don’t realize what a necessary thing it is until you don’t have it.”

Photo by chubstock

Photo by chubstock

At RAPRD, we recognize water as a force for wellness.  We see it in our aqua fitness classes and in water therapy for patrons with injuries or disabilities.  Water can be restorative.  A shower is more than just shampoo.  A shower is a moment of peace, of independence, of purification.  “To be able to say ‘I feel clean,’” Clouart describes, “what an emotional boost that can be to someone.” Access to shower facilities improves mental and physical well-being, can restore confidence, and helps job applicants maintain a professional appearance. 

For such a simple thing that most of us take for granted, the impact is significant.  Clouart says, “If you talk to someone who has gone several weeks without a shower and you ask them how they feel, they’ll say ‘I feel grubby, I feel itchy, I feel scratchy, I don’t feel good.’  And then they take the shower and they can say ‘I feel good.’  So you’re not just talking about physical hygiene, but mental hygiene as well.”

Photo by Guilherme Yagui

In partnership with the Redmond Library, RAPRD offers a limited number of free showers to housing insecure individuals every month.  The temperature extremes we experience in Central Oregon mean our winters are bitterly cold and our summers oppressively hot; both potentially dangerous for those without sufficient shelter.  In anticipation of another hot summer, our April Showers fundraising campaign will support this program to continue to make free showers available to those who need them.

 

The cost of a shower is only $1.50.

 Make a donation today to give a free shower to someone in need.

(Note: if you are reading this in email, some carriers like Gmail disable the PayPal link.  You can click here to donate through our blog in your browser.)

 

Special thanks to those who have already donated: Alicia, Donna, Lourdes, Susan, Leslie, Peggy, Melanie, Carolyn, and a number of anonymous donors.  If you donated and we didn't catch your name, feel free to contact us so we can thank you here!

Camp Adventure Quest Set to Begin a New Adventure in Redmond Early Learning Center

Throughout the school year, RAPRD offers its Adventure Quest program, before- and after-school enrichment program for children Grades K-5 at five elementary schools, where staff and volunteers lead organized activities, and arts and crafts projects.  The program operates Monday through Friday and during Winter and Spring breaks so that parents can drop their kids off and be assured they will have the attention and support they need.  Staff offers a homework reading period every day.  “It really helps the parents,” says Brandy Princehorn, Assistant Recreation Coordinator, “We know they have had a really long day, some kids are with us until 6:30.” Princehorn is a mother of three herself, and can sympathize.  “You have to go home and make dinner and the do the bedtime routine.  So we offer 20-30 minutes of homework time to give parents that extra help.”  Parents recognize the added value of such engaged staff.  Program participation has exploded, from 6 students per day in 2007 to nearly 80 students per day in 2016.  The program has spread out over five school sites in Redmond and Terrebonne.

Every summer, all those kids, from around the Redmond area, come together for Camp Adventure Quest.  Formerly Summer in the Park, for years, the program was based solely outside, in Redmond’s many community parks.  However, while active time outside is a major draw for the format, the program runs from 6:30am to 6:00pm, and some parents were hesitant to have their kids outside for the whole day.  The campers were at the mercy of the Central Oregon weather, and competed for park space with Music in the Canyon, and teenagers hanging out on summer break, who weren’t the best role models.

That all changed last year when Vern Patrick granted Camp Adventure Quest the use of two modular classrooms for the whole summer.  They finally had a base of operations (with air conditioning!) where the campers could cool off and securely leave their stuff, and do arts and crafts without worrying about the wind and rain sweeping their projects away.  The leaders set up a rotation between the two classrooms and the outside space.  In line with their themes for each week, they had crafts and games in each of the rooms, and field games outside.  On bad weather days, they had a protected space to move all the kids inside.

However, on those days and times with all 60 campers inside, it became obvious just how small two modular classrooms can feel, when filled with active kids.  Princehorn recalls, “That small space changed everything for the better. It let us offer more because we had three spaces to use instead of one [outside park space, as in previous years].  But we couldn’t grow in there.  The goal is to keep growing.”

Princehorn was able to draw on the program’s good reputation in area schools when she approached the Redmond Early Learning Center to ask for space for this summer.  “The schools love to use their space to reach out to the community and help families, so they benefit from our program as well.”  At RELC, the program will have access to the school’s cafeteria, gym, and the large stage/backstage space, which they will use as a classroom and activity room.  RELC is centrally located to a number of area parks, so Camp Adventure Quest not only has access to the school’s outdoor fields and playground, but will continue its tradition of hiking with the kids to different parks each day.  The Centennial Splash Park, and Cascade Swim Center, will become a regular part of their week again.  “These kids benefit from being outside,” Princehorn says, “We want them to enjoy all of our parks.  That’s what we are, we’re parks and rec.  We want to get our kids out to enjoy all that we have, not just the one space.” 

Camp Adventure Quest still meets many of the needs that Adventure Quest addresses during the school year.  Each week has a theme like “Stars and Stripes,” “Nature Gone Wild,” or “Jurassic Park,” that guides the crafts, games, and learning activities.  A librarian visits regularly to read to the kids and leave a rotating bin of library books and, on excursions to the library, and leaders help participants get library cards, and check out, and return books.  In the new cafeteria space at RELC, the school’s Nutrition Services will provide breakfast and lunch to school district nutrition standards each day, which Camp Adventure Quest supplements with morning and afternoon snacks.  “Kids will choose sugar over anything else and that doesn’t give them the fuel they need for the rest of the day so I’ve been trying to incorporate a lot more fruits and high protein snacks,” Princehorn notes.  “We run their energy out,” she says.  “They eat fairly often because they are playing all the time.” 

Like Adventure Quest, Camp Adventure Quest features crafts and stations on coordinated themes each week.  For Nature Gone Wild week, for example, participants hike to the local parks, picking up natural materials to make their crafts (bird feeders out of pinecones, porcupine characters out of pine cones and pine needles, rock pets to paint later, etc.).  Incorporated into the fun of collecting and creating is learning about the weather and the seasons, why some trees change and some don’t.  “We’re helping them learn to observe what’s around them,” Princehorn says.  Stations include fun projects like making characters out of paper bags or toilet paper rolls, but also trivia, board games, and activities like cooking (no-bake cookies, English muffin pizzas, etc.) to let kids be creative while learning life skills.

“We are different than a day care,” Princehorn observes, “because our job is not just to watch them.  We are in it with them.  We do all the activities with them, and we use ourselves as a reward.”  She recalls when the kids got to draw beards and mustaches on the staff, or pie them in the face at the end of the summer.  “We are more like an older brother or sister, or an aunt.  Them seeing us do stuff, rooting for us, competing against us in field games, just seeing us be silly; there is something about being outside and being active with them that builds those relationships.  We build that trust with them so they want to come back each year.” 

That trust and familiarity pays big dividends.  “We have had some kids who have been with us for a long time,” Princehorn says, “so seeing them grow and change from a shy kid that cries and clings to mom, and now mom is trying to give them a kiss and they are so excited to get here and jump right into an activity.  We see kids who used to test the waters who are now helpful to younger kids, who can show them the ropes and become mentors themselves.”

Princehorn talks wistfully about “a space that is our own, where we can have big things like a foosball table and aren’t restricted to what will fit in a storeroom, or what we can clear away on a rolling cart,” such as a comprehensive new RAPRD facility might one day bring.  For now, the new space this summer will dramatically benefit the program and allow plenty of room to grow.  She recalls, “The space last year made it feel like ‘Wow, there are a lot of kids in here.’ Whereas RELC is a big school for more kids.  Hopefully parents can see how much opportunity there is there and get excited about it.”

RAPRD Bus.jpg
 

We provide financial assistance so that Redmond kids who qualify can receive a scholarship to attend Camp Adventure Quest.  A $30 donation can send two kids to Camp Adventure Quest for a day.  A $60 donation could send one child for a week.  If you support this program, consider a small donation to help more kids experience the fun of Redmond parks in the summer.

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What Should Redmond's Parks Look Like in 10 Years? Make Your Voice Heard!

Photo by PhotoAtelier

Photo by PhotoAtelier

Redmond Area Park and Recreation District works closely with the City of Redmond to offer fun, social programs outdoors, in the many great park locations around Redmond.  The City currently maintains 20 parks, 3.8 miles of trails, and one dog park.  It is the responsibility of the City Parks Division to ensure that the system of parks, trails, and amenities Redmond offers meets the needs and expectations of our residents.  It is their job to make sure that when you and your family or friends go to a Redmond park, you can easily find out what kinds of equipment and facilities will be there before you go, and that you’ll have what you need for a great day out.

To do that difficult job, every 10 years, the Parks Division updates its citywide Parks Master Plan.  “The Master Plan gives us the bigger picture,” says Annie McVay, Parks Division Manager. “It helps us identify things getting outdated, big recreation trends, ways the community’s changing; the broader view of what parks need.”  The last time the plan was updated was in 2008, so the city is preparing for the next update.  The Master Plan update captures the accomplishments of the past 10 years, and identifies goals for parks development in the coming 10 years.  It will guide the Parks Division in the next decade as to which projects to build, how funding should be prioritized, and what should be undertaken first. 

Everything gets evaluated: which parks are being used and how people are using them, which trails are used and where new trails are needed to meet the desires of new and growing sports and recreation niche communities. 

Now, the parks update project team wants to hear from you.  What events and activities do you use Redmond city parks for?  Or, if you don’t currently use the parks, what new facilities or amenities would draw you to try them out?  “Redmond is very different than Prineville and Sisters and Bend, says McVay.  We want to reach out to the Redmond community to hear about their unique needs; what they like about our parks, parts of the park system they think could be improved.  We want to know what success in the next five years for Redmond parks means to you.”  She recalls, “Pickleball blindsided the nation a couple years ago, so if there are big recreation trends that are up and coming that aren’t aware of, let us know!”

The project team takes their job seriously and has planned a number of ways to try to get the community involved in the parks update process.  They want to make it as easy as possible to give them your feedback, so they have come up with a number of ways you can tell them what you think.  There is citywide survey sent out every year.  “Over the past couple years,” McVay reports, “we have had three large scale community surveys.  One was mailed to every resident.”  An interactive website called “My Sidewalk” issues weekly posts on different themes.  Last week’s asked residents to respond to the open-ended question, “What do you want your children to remember about playing in Redmond parks?”  In some communities, the “My Sidewalk” program has been a great tool for eliciting public feedback, but so far, Redmond has seen low participation.

Although the Master Plan project team stays up to date on the latest research and studies regarding community development and park planning, the participation of residents is key.  We can get a good idea of trends, but our planning should begin with the thoughts and the needs of the residents,” McVay explains.  “If we planned in a vacuum we’d miss a lot of things that are really important to people.”

McVay also discussed some of the challenges in uncovering Redmond’s park needs so far.  “The difficulty with the master plan is it is so big.  It is more abstract, not site-specific, so it is hard to get your head around.  A community park like Quince or Bowlby, everyone uses it and everyone knows what they want and don’t want.”  She gives some examples: “If you have kids, your biggest need might be playground equipment.  If you have school aged kids, your needs might be focused on sports fields.  But aggregating that to the big picture, and farther into the future, is more challenging” 

Photo Credit: City of Redmond

Photo Credit: City of Redmond

There’s more art than science to eliciting the information the city needs from residents about their park needs.  “If you just list a bunch of activities and facilities, everyone loves all of them, but that doesn’t get us to priorities.  So we use open-ended questions and people will respond with what matters to them most.  Our recent survey about Quince Park did a great job of capturing impressions.”  With regard to common themes among residents’ responses to open-ended surveys about the Master Plan, McVay observes, “One thing that always comes up as a really high priority is trails and connectivity.”

In an effort to offer a variety of forums for engagement, there is also a series of public meetings and other outreach to the community to invite you to contribute ideas, outline existing challenges, and get information about what could be possible for Redmond parks in the next 5-10 years.  The City is hosting an open house to seek public input about the future of Redmond’s parks, trails, natural lands, and outdoor recreation opportunities.  The open house will be on Wednesday, April 5th, at 5:30 pm at Redmond City Hall (formerly Evergreen school), in Civic Room #206.

Photo Credit: City of Redmond

Photo Credit: City of Redmond

There will be an opportunity at the open house for constituents of various demographics to have their voices heard.  The needs of hikers may not always match the needs of seniors, which may not always align with the needs of families with young children.  The Parks Division wants to respond to and balance these competing needs.  “There are different ways that different cultures use our parks,” McVay observes, “And a lot of our parks here are geared toward families with children, so we hear from senior citizens that we could meet their needs more.”  To gather the impressions of these user groups, the open house will feature thematic stations, like “Trails,” “Ball fields” etc. The Parks Division will also be able to present more information on what they’ve developed so far, which will hopefully make it easier for residents to comment on the Master Plan. “It can be harder in the abstract,” McVay says, “but once they see something in writing, people have a better sense of how to direct their comments.”

This will be only one of many platforms the city will provide to learn about the process and offer your guidance to the project team, but it is an important first step that will shape the Master Plan update by creating a framework and jumping off point for future engagement.  Don’t miss this chance to make your voice heard and make sure your city parks continue to meet your needs going forward as Redmond grows and evolves.

The RAPRD Hero Pass: Making it Easier for Veterans to Stay Healthy and Active

Photo by Marvin Lynchard

Photo by Marvin Lynchard

Thanks to a generous private donation, Redmond Area Park and Recreation District has developed a way to honor and welcome our community’s veterans.  Aquatic Director Jessica Rowan took it on herself to develop the Hero Pass program, after being approached by a donor interested in encouraging Redmond area veterans to participate in recreation and life enrichment activities to improve physical and mental wellbeing.  “Redmond has a large veteran population,” Rowan explains, “nearly 3000.  But our research showed that veterans remain an underserved part of our community.”  Rowan undertook six months of research, including meetings with local veteran support organizations, to develop an incentive program that would best meet the needs of the largest number of area vets.

“There are many programs for veterans that are needs-based, that require the veteran qualify through a disability or economic hardship,” Rowan observes.  “This is not the direction we wanted to go with our Hero Pass program.  It has been our goal to provide this incentive without these qualifiers.  If a community member has served and been honorably discharged, then they qualify for a Hero Pass.”

Rowan’s research included a number of recent studies examining the causes of difficulty transitioning from military to civilian life.  Whereas the military is structured by rules and order and hierarchy, civilian life can feel chaotic and unstable by comparison.  The shift to a civilian environment can bring a sense of boredom and isolation.  “The good news,” Rowan says, “is that community engagement and social contact has been shown to greatly reduce these negative feelings, improving overall health and wellness for veterans.”  Team sports can provide a sense of teamwork, rules, and achievement.  Aquatics programs and exercise at the Activity Center offer improved health and strength and a chance to interact with others with similar interests. 

Photo by Brittany Rankin

Rowan’s research also showed that it can be challenging to find a replacement in civilian life for the feeling of belonging that servicemen and women find in the military.  Cascade Swim Center and the Activity Center are community environments where friends and neighbors can meet and catch up while participating in recreation and exercise programs.  Being a part of a sports team or becoming a regular at lap swim or the gym can bring a sense of belonging and familiarity that puts civilian life on firmer ground. 

 “The goal of the Hero Pass is to be able to say thank you to our community members who have served,” Rowan describes, “and to foster participation in community based recreation and enrichment.” Honorably discharged Redmond area veterans who live within the District boundaries are eligible to receive a Hero Pass. Recipients can use this card to receive a 20% discount toward RAPRD registrations and passes for their participation in recreation, fitness or enrichment programming.  Since the purpose of the program is to encourage sustained engagement in recreation and enrichment programs, passes are discounted, but not daily drop-in fees.  As Rowan explains, “As the goal of the program is to engage the veterans, themselves, the Hero Pass can only be applied to programs and passes that they, themselves, will participate in.” To this end, veterans can receive a 20% discount for their families when they buy a pass for the whole family to enjoy an activity together, such as a lap and recreation swim pass for the pool. 

Photo by Army National Guard Staff Sgt Emily Suhr

Photo by Army National Guard Staff Sgt Emily Suhr

“Providing life enrichment programs to our community members is our mission, and this is particularly true for our area veterans,” Rowan says. “We are blessed to have a significant portion of our community that has made the choice to serve, and we feel that it is an obligation to honor their sacrifices.”

The Hero Pass project is funded through charitable donations, with special recognition to the tremendous generosity of the Pollock family, in honor of Elmer and Geneva Pollock. If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution to the Hero Pass project, call or visit the RAPRD Activity Center or Cascade Swim Center, or donate online here:

 

If you are an honorably discharged veteran who lives in the Redmond area, you can bring proof of District residence and your DD-214 to the pool or the Activity Center to receive your Hero Pass.

Photo by Marvin Lynchard

AJ Tetherow Home: Saving one of Redmond's Historic Treasures

West Facade of Tetherow Homestead Today

West Facade of Tetherow Homestead Today

We are pleased and proud of our role in saving one of Redmond - and Oregon's - significant historic sites.  This is going to be a huge project, and tremendously challenging, but we are looking forward to bringing history into the present and we are up for the journey!

The Tetherow house was built in 1878 or 1879 and is believed to be the oldest standing house in Deschutes County.  The original owner was Andrew Jackson (A.J.) Tetherow, son of Solomon Tetherow, the leader of the Lost Meek wagon train of 1845, who discovered the Blue Bucket Mine.  A.J. lived on the property with his wife and four children, and one of his children lived on the property until 1928.

Tetherow House East Facade.  Photo courtesy of Deschutes County Historical Society

Tetherow House East Facade.  Photo courtesy of Deschutes County Historical Society

Tetherow Homestead East Facade Today

Tetherow Homestead East Facade Today

The property was used as a home, inn, campsite, store, farm, ranch, orchard, garden, dairy, blacksmith, and brewery.  The property also served as a store and stopping point (or way station) from 1879 to 1898.  The store was supplied with goods and foods (sugar, flour, bacon).  In 1898, J.A. Isham leased the property from the Tetherows and moved his family onto the property.  Isham established an inn and kept the hay station and stage stop until around. 1910. In 1903, one of his daughters became the first bride to be married in the newly established town of Madras.

The site served as one of only three Deschutes River crossings during the settlement days of Central Oregon.  Originally, the crossing was operated by cable ferry and later, a bridge was built.  The crossing was a part of the Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountain Military Road, the chief corridor of passage from Springfield to Prineville and the Ochoco Mountains. 

Santiam Pass by Xuan Che

Santiam Pass by Xuan Che

Historically, its significance to Central Oregon is as a critical point of transportation.   Reports indicate that as many as 20 wagons and 100,000 head of cattle per day crossed the river at Tetherow Crossing.  According to Phillip Brogan, an Oregon author and historian, the first diversion of water from the Deschutes River for irrigation was on the Tetherow Ranch.

Current status

Tetherow Property was dedicated as a historical site in 1976, and the house was used as a caretaker’s residence until approximately 1999.  Additions over the years have altered the original structure into the larger structure that stands today.  Deschutes County deeded the property to Redmond Area Park and Recreation in 2004 to develop into a public park.  RAPRD had a consultant review the property in 2004, who determined that the core of the original house still exists. 

Tetherow House - North Facade circa 2002

Tetherow House - North Facade circa 2002

We have always hoped to preserve the original 12’ x 25’ original homestead and rehabilitate the structure for safe public use.  During the recession, the community suffered a prolonged period of double-digit unemployment and development was paused.  We are prepared to resume rehabilitation of the historic structure and transformation of the property into a public park, complete with accessible trails and interpretive signage, and we have hired a full-time Development Director to assist in that endeavor.

Our ultimate goal is to preserve the home and restore its historic character.  This would require demolition and removal of the various additions to the house.  We then hope to construct an adjacent modern structure to make the original homestead more functional for community use.  This indoor space may be used as a classroom for community programs, meeting space, family gatherings, etc. 

View of Tetherow House from the Deschutes

View of Tetherow House from the Deschutes

Tetherow Homestead today

Tetherow Homestead today

We have concept drawings for the park improvements.  Our next step will be to get an architectural plan for the house and plans to transform the surrounding property into a public park with trails and educational/interpretive signage.  

We are only at the beginning of this challenging project but we believe in the enormous potential contribution of the Tetherow property to Redmond's history and to our community as a natural public space.  We are excited to shepherd it through to completion.  Visit our Take Action page to see how you can get involved or donate  to support the Tetherow project here:

 
Photo by Daniel Thornton