Grant helps Mount Hood Town Hall rebuild playground

A $75,000 grant was awarded to the Mount Hood Town Hall by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission in fall 2013 to put toward a new playground. A $5,000 donation was also given by Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District. The project is finally coming around full circle.

The park has been steadily worked on since the money came in. Workers have removed the old playground parts, leveled the ground, poured concrete, ordered a custom play set picked out by volunteers, and installed new landscaping.

A new play set is to be added into the new park, along with a 10-foot swing set.

At the beginning of construction, Mount Hood Town Hall organizers stressed volunteer contributions. The turnout of volunteers has been fantastic, according to Scott Baker, HRVPD assistant director. A total of $36,000 in donated materials, equipment and labor was applied to the building of the playground.

Even though there has been a lot of progress made on the park, there is still a lot of work to be done; mainly landscaping. Volunteers and donations are still being accepted, according to Baker. For more information about volunteering or donating, contact Baker at 541-490-6393 or

The project is right on schedule. It is expected to be open after June 1 and it will be open before the Centennial Celebration, which is June 28.


On May 14-15, Oregon’s Recreation and Park Association will hold a Playground Installation Workshop at the Town Hall. ORPA’s Maintenance and Construction Section is offering an opportunity to learn playground construction fundamentals and tips from veteran playground professionals.

The fee will be $110 for ORPA members and $150 for non-members. Fees include classroom instruction, daily lunch and refreshments, hands-on sessions, mentoring by ORPA playground experts, and commemorative T-shirt.

To register, go to For more information contact Jerry Burgess at 503-629-6360 or

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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