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After ice storm, many Lane County Parks are still closed, including Mt. Pisgah

A pile of tree branches
Lane County Parks on Facebook
Crews have been cleaning up tree debris at Buford Park following the ice storm in January.

Lane County’s largest and most popular park is still closed after suffering extensive damage from the ice storm last month.

Howard Buford Recreation Area is one of 30 parks in the system that was closed after storm damage.

Jodi Low, Lane County Parks Volunteer and Marketing Coordinator, said they’ve since reopened 15 parks, including Armitage Park.

There’s no reopening date yet for Buford Park, also known as Mount Pisgah. The 2,363-acre property has a complex network of trails.

The volunteer response has been really overwhelmingly heartfelt.

“There are trails that are wide. There are trails that are narrow,” Low said. “In addition to the debris, you have to consider how we access particular areas of the park. How do we do so in a way that doesn’t further damage some of the trails? And there has been extensive damage to the most popular trail, which is trail one.”

Once debris is removed, Low said, then the tree hazard removal work must begin—whether it's snags or hanging debris, or trees or branches may be in danger of falling.

The county is working on getting FEMA assistance. Low added organizations like Mount Pisgah Arboretum have raised money to help with the cost of repairs.

Low said there’s been a huge response from the public who’ve volunteered to help with park cleanup throughout the system.

“The volunteer response has been really overwhelmingly heartfelt,” Low said. She thanked park users for their patience as the work continues.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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