City of Creswell’s vision for parks and recreation coming into focus

ERIN TIERNEY/CHRONICLE PHOTOHanayuki Staples tests out the new pump track on Tuesday, Aug. 10, that Creswell’s Public Works department installed this summer.

CRESWELL – Cliff Bellew and his team have been especially busy the past few months making sure everyone else can have a good time. 

The director of the City’s Public Works department has been executing on a broader initiative to upgrade and diversity parks facilities. He said the master plan is something City Manager Michelle Amberg and he developed through the past few years.

“It’s been a few years in the making,” he said of the efforts. “You plan, you budget, you execute.” 

The biggest piece of the plan was Garden Lake Park, which now includes a nine-hole disc golf course, trails, horseshoe pits, refurbished pavilion, and a lake dock.

Bellew, who was honored Monday night at the City Council meeting for his 20th year with the City, has seen his team grow to nine employees from four. He’s been the director for the past eight years. 

“Big projects eat into our team’s time, but it’s a very big priority. It’s a priority for the residents.”

Besides upgrades at Garden Lake, Bellew’s team added another playground for children at the Cobalt Activity Center – including adaptive equipment – to go along with senior-specific exercise machines, a new “pump track” off Niblock and 1st St., and, of course, the regular upkeep at Holt Park.

The pump track, a momentum-based path for mountain bikers and BMX riders, includes a walking path around it. More landscaping remains, but the future reservoir site should be a useful park for nearly 20 years.

The Staples family of Creswell was enjoying the track Tuesday. Sisters Talamae (10 years old), Hanayuki (8), and Kamalani (1) were with parents David and Lourdes Staples. “I didn’t realize the city did this; it’s really great that they built this for the community.”

Sisters Talamae (10 years old) and Hanayuki (8) Staples have fun on the track. ERIN TIERNEY/CHRONICLE PHOTO

Bellew said he’s hopeful that online apps used by area disc golf players and mountain bikers will create a buzz around the facilities, particularly for folks passing through to Cottage Grove’s well-known bike trails. Just not too many people.

“It’s for Creswell residents first,” he smiled, noting he wasn’t worried about over-use. “We want people to use these facilities. I get a sense of pride that I worked on it.”



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