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Oregon State Parks to build more campsites as part of capital improvement plan

Silver Falls camping
Instagram user @lifebythehitch via Oregon State Parks Department
The Oregon State Parks Department is planning to expand several Willamette Valley campgrounds, including this one at Silver Falls State Park east of Salem.

Oregonians will soon have more options to go camping now that the State Parks Department is finalizing details on a capital improvement plan.

Oregon lawmakers approved $50 million in bonding to fund a series of projects over the next five years. State Parks staff outlined some of the plans at a recent meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Park Services Manager Matt Rippee said expanded campgrounds are in the works for several state parks in the Willamette Valley, including Silver Falls and Champoeg. He said that will create more options for Oregonians looking for a quick camping trip.

”It also gives folks an opportunity, if a big storm comes through in the middle of the night, or a baby is crying, they can hop in the car and head home, and it’s not a four hour drive,” he said.

Also on the list: A visitor center and expanded parking for the iconic Smith Rock State Park near Redmond.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”