Developer donates land for Mike Miller Park

Additional 5.8 acres will provide link between current park and new areas

By April Bamburg Of the News-Times

A vision two decades old will become reality this summer thanks to a donation of land and funds from developer Will Emery – Mike Miller Park will grow from 40 acres to 45.8, and connect several trails together.

On May 18, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the county and Emery’s development company, Landwaves, Inc., for a donation of 5.8 acres, including a pond and funding to build two pedestrian bridges. With the 5.8-acre parcel, a total of 657 feet of new trail will be constructed joining the trail at the Wilder development with the existing trail at Mike Miller Park and beyond.

“I’m pleased to be able to make the donation of property and monies along with that,” Emery told the board on May 18, noting that this had been about 20 years in the making. According to Bonnie Serkin, chief operating officer at Landwaves, this began with a pond located on industrial land that Emery owns. “We have a beautiful pond on an industrial property that is adjacent to the park,” she said. “The ponds kind of belong together – to make the area walkable and join the two ponds seemed like a wonderful thing to do.”

Lincoln County Parks Director Jim Chambers said that the trail will connect with 590 feet of trail at Wilder and cross the Oregon Coast Community College property before reaching the boundary. A pedestrian bridge and 400 feet of trail will be constructed to link with existing trail and parallel the existing trail for 1,000 feet. At the southern boundary of the park, a second pedestrian bridge will go in.

“The hope is that Mike Miller Park and the surrounding area will be more widely used,” Serkin said. “There’s no really good parking, so we expanded the gift to include the parking lot.”

To have this project moving , said Chambers, “feels great. It’s nice to see something that will enhance the park.” In early May, Chambers said he walked the entire trail, and hikers along the trail were enthusiastic about the changes.

“To have this kind of facility available for the community and for our citizens for generations to come, to take advantage of, to hike, to see wildlife… it’s just a wonderful place,” said Commissioner Don Lindly.

Both Lindly and Emery see this as a potential connection between the Corvallis to the Sea Trail and the Hatfield Marine Science Center.