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MLK Park-09

Upgrades are underway the pedestrian path, barn and playground at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, along with adding new restrooms. Officials are planning two public sessions to discuss the master plan for the park. The first session is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Walnut Community Room.

Interested in the future of Martin Luther King Jr. Park?

The Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a public workshop at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Walnut Community Room, 4950 NW Fair Oaks Ave., to discuss a master plan for the park.

Friends of Corvallis Parks and Recreation as well as representatives of the architect and design firm of Jones and Jones will be on hand for the meeting. Jones and Jones handled the design for the four cultural centers at Oregon State University.

Photo boards from other Jones and Jones projects will be on display “to ignite the imagination for members of the public to then develop the vision for the park,” said Karen Emery, director of Parks and Recreation.

Emery said “there is an interest in making the park more compelling and inspiring than a typical community park. We want to create a design that speaks to both Dr. King’s principles of unity and the natural environment.”

A second public workshop is planned for 5 p.m. April 12 at the Walnut room.

No budget has been established for the project. Emery said funding will come from donations, grants and the city systems development charges (funds collected from developers for the public facilities their projects require).

A similar mix of funding sources was used to pay for the ongoing restrooms, playground and Walnut Barn improvements at the park.

In other public meetings this week: 


• The Corvallis-Benton County Economic Development Advisory Board meets at 3 p.m. at the Madison Avenue Meeting Room, 500 SW Madison Ave. 

• The Philomath City Council meets in a 5:30 p.m. work session at City Hall, 980 Applegate St., to review the strategic plan for fiscal year 2017 through fiscal year 2021.

• The Philomath City Council meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall and will discuss a memorandum of understanding and a lease agreement on the rodeo grounds property as well as possible expansion of the Philomath Connection bus service and annexations to consider on the May 18 election ballot.


• The Corvallis Historic Resources Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. at the downtown fire station, 400 NW Harrison Blvd. Commissioners will review the final draft of the historic preservation plan and hold two public hearings, one to consider window replacements in the basement of the Amelia Bier House, 812 SW Fifth St., and the other to enclose a breezeway at Cordley Hall at OSU.


• The Corvallis Watershed Management Advisory Board meets at 5:15 p.m. at the Madison room.

• The third and final Chepenefu lecture is at 7 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre, 115 SW Second St. The topic is “Native Space: Geographic Strategies to Unsettle Settler Colonialism” and the speaker is Natchee Brand, OSU assistant professor in ethnic studies. Brand has a new book out with the same title as the lecture, which will focus on how indigenous peoples work to maintain their identity and culture while being colonized on their own land. Spectators are encouraged to arrive by 6:45 p.m. Overflow seating will be available in the concession area. The event is sponsored by the Marys Peak Group of the Sierra Club, the Spring Creek Project and Abundant Solar.


• The Corvallis Civic Beautification and Urban Forestry Department Advisory Committee meets at 9 a.m. at the Parks and Recreation Department, 1310 SW Avery Park Drive.


• State Rep. Dan Rayfield will be on hand for the City Legislative Committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. at City Hall, 501 SW Madison Ave. Rayfield will talk about issues that will come up in the 2018 short session of the Legislature. 

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Contact reporter James Day at or 541-758-9542. Follow at or