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New suspension bridge on Amanda Trail to be dedicated this weekend

Blueprint from Viewthefuture.org

A new suspension bridge dedication takes place Saturday near the coastal town of Yachats. The event also recognizes the displacement and genocide of Native Americans in what’s known as Oregon, today.

Photo provided by Joanne Kittel.
The new suspension bridge over the Amanda Grotto.

The 142-ft. long bridge replaces one destroyed by a landslide in 2015. It spans a forested grotto which contains a statue of Amanda DeCuis, a Coos Indian forced to give up her daughter and march the craggy shores to the Alsea sub-agency in the 1860s. An account of the incident says she left a bloody trail, as the sharp rocks cut her feet.

Joanne Kittel owns the land with the statue and bridge. For her, this latest piece of the Amanda Trail is the culmination of years of activism and community support.

Lauralee Svensgaard

“I am very excited and just full of gratitude,” she told KLCC. “I could mention at least a dozen to 15 different organizations and governmental bodies that have been involved, and probably well over 120 people, who joined together to build this bridge, and restore the entire area around it.”

Kittel said besides having a place to enjoy nature, trail visitors can reflect on the region’s Indigenous people. She added that she often feels Amanda’s spirit in the grotto.

“Amanda’s around all the time. And many people feel the spiritual connection to her, it’s a very powerful area for a lot people. She is very much a part of everyone who’s worked there, even the construction crew from Redmond who built the bridge ended up feeling her presence.”

Kittel wants people to enjoy the bridge and scenery, but also to reflect on the death and sorrow Native Americans endured during colonization.

More than $55,000 in private donations supported the bridge’s construction.

A schedule of this weekend’s events is below, and was found on https://viewthefuture.org/the-new-amanda-trail-suspension-bridge-bridge-dedication-event/.


Saturday, May 21, 1-2:30 pm at the Amanda Gathering Area

The Dedication ceremony will be held at the new Amanda Trail Suspension Bridge overlooking the Amanda Gathering Area just south of Yachats. Oregon State Covid safety guidelines are required in all settings. Travel to the Gathering Area will be provided by buses only from the Yachats Community Presbyterian church or by foot via the Amanda Trail. There will be no parking at the site.

Note: Capacity for attending the dedication at the bridge site has been reached. Please consider attending the live stream of the event at the Commons as well as the other events.

Click Here to Register via Brown Paper Tickets

The Dedication events are all free although space is limited at each venue.

Registration through Brown Paper Tickets is required to maintain a safe environment.

See Transportation and Parking instructions below


The Amanda Gathering Area requires some up and downhill walking, over uneven ground, and is not considered ADA accessible. It is in a beautiful forested setting with limited seating on log benches. The outdoor Gathering Area has a capacity of 160 people and seating for 120. Attendance is free but registration through Brown Paper Tickets is requested. Light refreshments will be provided during the event and Porta Potty facilities will be available.

11:30 AM: Bus transport begins between the Yachats Community Presbyterian Church and the Amanda Gathering Area.

1:00 PM Dedication begins

Speakers include:

Lisa Sumption – Director, Oregon Parks, and Recreation Department

Claire Hall – Lincoln County Commissioner

Greg Scott – City Councilperson, Yachats Oregon

Joanne Kittel – Chairperson View the Future

Michelle Holman – Supervisor, Central Coast Ranger District, Siuslaw National Forest

Tribal Chief Donald Slyter – Confederated Tribe of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians

Dolores Pigsley, Tribal Council Chair, Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians

2:30 PM:
Dedication concludes: Bus transportation begins back to the Presbyterian church or people can walk the Amanda Trail.

4:30 PM:
The last bus leaves the Amanda site to return to the Presbyterian church.

May 21, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Viewing of the Dedication will be available via a live-stream production to the Multipurpose room at the Yachats Commons. The Commons, located at 441 Highway 101 in Yachats has parking and is ADA accessible. Attendance is free but seating is limited (200) so registration through Brown Paper Tickets is required to attend. Light Refreshments will be served.

Yachats Commons Building


May 21, 5:30 – 6:45 pm

Prior to the Saturday evening play production (5:30-6:45 PM), a reception will be held in the Multipurpose Room of the Commons with refreshments provided by Drift Inn. Attendance is free but seating is limited (150) so registration through Brown Paper Tickets is required to attend.


Two banners will be raffled during the Dedication events. All attendees receive one free raffle ticket which they mark with their name and phone number and submit in the raffle container. Additional tickets are available for purchase at $1.00 each. The raffle table will be available in the Commons during the Livestream, reception, and both plays. The drawing will take place Sunday afternoon after the play but it is not necessary to be present to win.


(Saturday at 6:40 PM and Sunday at 1:40 PM)

Twenty minutes before the start of each play the community is invited to take part in drumming on “Yellow Bear”. Yellow Bear is a double-sided ceremonial drum that was created by Dwight Lind. The frame is Alaskan yellow-cedar, 1 centimeter thick, and covered with moose hide. The drum was built in ceremony, smudged with sage, and has sage, tobacco, and an eagle feather, as well as other offerings inside.

Yellow Bear at the 2017 Yachats Peace Hike

Yellow Bear was brought to the Yachats Community in 2016 by Wake and Kinlen Wheeler and Joanne Kittel. They have brought it to many community events, inviting people to drum and participate in its sweet sound and rhythm.


May 21, 7:00 PM, repeated May 22, 2:00 pm

The reception and Amanda Transcending productions will be held in the Yachats Commons Multipurpose room. Capacity may have to be adjusted based on Covid requirements on that date. Attendance is free but seating is limited so registration and tickets through Brown Paper Tickets are required to attend.

The play Amanda Transcending dramatizes the life of Amanda De-Cuys, a Coos woman who is eventually disowned by her common-law marriage husband, forced to abandon her child, and put on a grueling march towards what is now known as Yachats; and how her story was brought to light.

Click this link to listen to a 5 1/2 min audio prepared by KLCC  prior to the Amanda Transcending production at Theater 33 in Salem in 2017.

Two Amanda-themed banners have been donated and will be raffled. Tickets for the raffle can be obtained from the raffle desk in the Commons. It is not necessary to be present for the drawing.

Transportation to the Amanda Gathering Area

Amanda TrailYachats Community Presbyterian church route to the Amanda Gathering Area

Free bus transportation will be provided to and from the Yachats Community Presbyterian Church (see map below) and the Amanda Gathering Area on Saturday. The first bus will leave the Presbyterian church at 11:30 am. and the last bus will leave the church at 1230. The last bus will leave the Gathering Area returning to the Presbyterian church at 4:30 pm. People can also walk the one-mile Amanda Trail from Yachats Ocean Road to get there. There is no parking at the site.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.