State Parks and Recreation Department > Web site
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) exists to protect and provide outstanding natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, and historic places for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. It began in 1922, when a Willamette Valley resident, Sarah Helmick, was the first to donate a piece of property for park purposes. From 1922 to 1989, state parks in Oregon were managed as a branch of the state highway and transportation agency. Along the way, it assumed management of the ocean shore following the 1967 Beach Bill, and state scenic waterways after they were created in 1970. In 1990, the Legislature created the State Parks and Recreation Department as a stand-alone agency.
Today, OPRD serves Oregonians as stewards of the Oregon State Park System, with more than 200 parks spread across 108,000 acres serving more than 40 million day and 2 million overnight visitors a year with picnicking, hiking, camping, biking, and sightseeing throughout the state; the Ocean Shore Recreation Area, with 362 miles of beaches and rocky shores, all open to public enjoyment; the State Scenic Bikeway Program that includes the best on-road bicycle routes encompassing a mix of family-friendly and challenging riding; the Community Support Program, delivering grants and expertise to Oregon communities to help them serve local recreation and heritage needs; the State Historic Preservation Office, serving properties and sites on the National Register of Historic Places; and the Oregon All-Terrain Vehicle Program, providing public safety training, grants to land managers for safety, law enforcement, and improvement of public all-terrain vehicle riding areas.
OPRD fulfills its mission with a staff of approximately 860 people equaling 600 full-time equivalent positions, with a large number of employees being seasonal. The governor-appointed State Parks and Recreation Commission is responsible for setting OPRD’s policy direction. The department is funded from state park visitor fees, a share of state recreational vehicle license revenues, some federal funds, and a share of Oregon Lottery profits constitutionally dedicated to parks by Oregon voters in 1998 and 2010.
Information about this agency's divisions, offices, programs, etc.
Mailing Address: 725 Summer St. NE, Suite C, Salem 97301
Telephone: 503-986-0707; Campground Reservations: 1-800-452-5687; Parks Information: 1-800-551-6949
Contact: Lisa Van Laanen, Director
Administrative Rules Coordinator Email: Vanessa DeMoe
Records Officer Email: Pamela Berger
Staff Directory from Oregon.gov
Location Map: by Yahoo! Maps
Legal and Legislative Information
Records, Publications and General Information
Agency History (PDF) - a detailed history of the agency
Records Retention Schedule (PDF) - a list of the public records kept at the agency
State Archives Holdings - a select list of the agency's records available for research at the State Archives
State Library Publications - a link to the Oregon State Library Catalog