Category Archives: event
Everyone knows state parks are great spots for camping, hiking and picnicking, but during the month of June, they’ll also be places to appreciate traditional art. Over the next four Saturdays, Oregon artists will present their crafts at five state parks—folk singing, fly-tying, Kalapuya storytelling, and basket and fiber weaving. Each artist will be joined by a folklorist who will offer a cross-cultural perspective on the techniques displayed.
Art in the Parks is a collaborative project of OPRD, the University of Oregon’s Oregon Folklife Network (OFN), the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Oregon Arts Commission to bring people and traditional artists together in nature. And really, could there be a more scenic setting for celebrating Oregon’s cultural heritage than a state park in June?
The featured presentations are:
- “The Roots of American Folk Music” — by singer Mark Ross and folklorist Emily West, in collaboration with the Salem Art Association. Ross will perform old-time music on banjo, mandolin, harmonica and other instruments and provide an entertaining look at the history of folk music in Oregon. June 8, 2-4 p.m. at Silver Falls State Park.
- “The Art of Fly-Tying” — by fly fisher and fly-tyer Sherry Steele and folklorist Riki Saltzman, in collaboration with the Rogue Gallery and Art Center in Medford. Steele will discuss fly-tying’s significance in Oregon fishing traditions and folk art and showcase the many types of materials used to make flies. Attendees can try tying their own fly with provided supplies. June 15, 10 a.m.-noon and 7-9 p.m. at Joseph Stewart State Recreation Area.
- “Traditional Karuk Basket Weaving” — by weaver Wilverna Reece and folklorist Emily West, in collaboration with Arts Central of Bend. Reece will explain the intricacies of gathering materials for Karuk baskets and demonstrate traditional weaving techniques. June 15, 10 a.m.-noon at Smith Rock State Park.
- “Artistry Traditions of the Wasco and Klamath Cultures” — by fiber artist Pat Courtney Gold and folklorist Riki Saltzman, in collaboration with the Ross Ragland Theater in Klamath Falls. Gold will demonstrate how she makes Wasco “Sally Bags,” functional and decorative art objects made with local grasses or fibers, and explain the significance of motifs in Wasco and Klamath weaving. June 22, 10 a.m.-noon at Collier State Park.
- “Traditional Kalapuya Storytelling” — by storyteller Esther Stutzman and folklorist Lyle Murphy, in collaboration with the Lane Arts Council in Eugene. Stutzman’s interactive style will engage young and old as she performs stories from Kalapuya oral histories. June 29, 7-9 p.m, at Fall Creek State Recreation Area’s Cascara Campground.
All of the presentations are free, and all ages are welcome. One-time day-use parking permits at Silver Falls State Park and Smith Rock State Park cost $5.
For more information about Art in the Parks events and the artists, visit the Oregon Folklife Network’s website.
Spend your State Parks Day June 1 (free parking!) at Smith Rock State Park and drop by the Welcome Center grand opening 10 a.m.-2 p.m. See live raptors from the Sunriver Nature Center and watch a presentation about reptiles. Kids can try out new interactive exhibits and Junior Ranger activities — make a pictograph!
Park Manager Scott Brown says the center is specially designed to show off the park to visitors who aren’t able to explore the park’s rugged interior. A display presents Smith Rock’s cultural importance — the area was home to several Native American groups, later followed by settlers who came to the area in the late 1800s. Which birds, mammals and insects live here? Central Oregon is semiarid, but the landscape and topography vary dramatically within the park, as does the wildlife.
It’s easy to see which plants grow in the park. A 7,000-square-foot native plant garden displays more than 20 different plant varieties found in the area, including desert paintbrush, arrowleaf balsamroot, yellow desert daisy and purple sage.
The Welcome Center and native garden development was a grassroots effort led by local businesses and park visitors. The center will be open Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Volunteers can answer your park questions.
Summit Loop Trail ranger-led hike starts at 12 p.m.
A new trail opens at Smith Rock State Park and you’re invited to the inaugural hike June 1. The 2.1-mile Summit Loop Trail connects the River, Wolf Tree and Burma Road trails to form an 8-mile loop around the whole park. The hike begins at the Welcome Center. Wear sturdy hiking boots, bring plenty of water and plan on a four-hour trek to complete the entire loop.
The trail is open to hikers and mountain bikers (closed to horses). The elevation reaches 3,500 feet at the summit, and a short side trip off the main trail leads to a viewpoint that overlooks the Crooked River National Grassland, the Cascade Mountains and the surrounding high desert. The trail route protects native plants and animals—especially nesting raptors— but still lets hikers experience this fragile ecosystem.
Most of the trail is within the boundaries of the park, but parts of it pass through public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, as well as private land owned by Ranch at the Canyons and permanently protected by the Deschutes Land Trust. Please respect the property of our partners.
Central Oregon’s night sky is perfect for viewing Saturn and its rings, the highlight of the annual Prineville Reservoir Star Party Saturday, June 1. The planet shares the night sky with colorful star clusters, nebulae (interstellar clouds of dust and gases) and distant galaxies. Partygoers can peer through Big Doug, the park’s 16-inch telescope, and other telescopes provided by professional and amateur astronomers at
The star party starts at noon with exhibits and activities in the day-use area, including a solar car demonstration at 1 p.m. Afternoon presentations include “So You Want to Go to Mars” (2 p.m.), “Galileo’s Telescope” (3 p.m.), and “Planning Your Next Vacation–in Space!” (4 p.m.).
Evening activities leading up to the main stargazing event include:
- Children’s activities focused on rocketry, impact crater formation, and solar energy.
- Introductory talk on the planet Saturn.
- A special presentation at 7 p.m. by renowned space artist and photographer John Foster focusing on the search for habitable planets outside of our solar system.
- A 30-minute orientation—”A Guided Tour of the Night Sky”—starts at 9:30 p.m.
Planning to spend the night? Tent and RV sites as well as day-use parking are free June 1, State Parks Day (reservation fees still apply). Prineville Reservoir State Park offers nearly 100 campsites–both RV and tent sites–and five deluxe cabins in its main campground. All are reservable online at www.oregonstateparks.org or by phone at 1-800-452-5687. The park’s Jasper Point campground has 30 electrical hook up sites available first-come, first-served.