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Girl Scouts Troop 45064 and nonprofit City Repair, in coordination with city officials and dozens of volunteers, get community support for Latourette Park

Oregon City painted its first intersection on Sept. 10, thanks to the organizational efforts of Girl Scouts Troop 45064 and nonprofit City Repair in coordination with city officials and dozens of volunteers.

PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Oregon City Girl Scouts Troop 45064 co-leaders Heidi McKay and Karen Buehrig celebrate the Sept. 10 completion of the painted intersection at 11th and Jefferson streets.Local celebrities who helped the Girl Scouts paint the intersection included City Commissioner Brian Shaw, McLoughlin Neighborhood Association Chair Denyse McGriff and Oregon City Public Works Director John Lewis.

"It was fun to participate in the painting even though it wasn't much more than an hour of painting time for me," Lewis said. "I think I stayed in the lines and didn't drip one drop of paint."

Dan Miller of the National Parks Service will be working with the Girl Scouts after they successfully applied for the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program this year. With the help of Oregon City/Metro enhancement grants, Troop 45064 co-leader Karen Buehrig said that the Girl Scouts worked with community members and City Repair to create a wide-ranging vision for revitalizing Latourette Park, which will necessarily require compromise in order to enact.

"The challenge is to develop a conceptual plan which reflects the vision created by the community that can be implemented through future grant funding and sustained by the community, with minimal impact on city resources," Buehrig wrote in the application.

Buehrig said that she was proud of the girls for helping pioneer a process that included a petition signed by 80 percent of the neighboring property owners. According to a contract with the city, the Girl Scouts will be responsible for maintaining the painting.

Lewis said the idea in creating a map of 26 nearby lots where property owners were asked to sign on to the event was to get approval of most of those who may be impacted by the visitor traffic. While he's heard from others who think that the intersection painting was a cool idea, he has yet to hear from an organized effort to replicate the project in another OC neighborhood and is hoping that this type of project doesn't come up often.

"We are not necessarily advocating for more intersection painting projects," Lewis said. "The facility is a city facility once complete and the permit fee in no way covers the cost of staff time involved in the process."

Girl Scout Lucy McKay created a sunflower design at the corner of 11th Street and Jefferson Street in Oregon City, a block east at the entrance of Latourette Park. With a $750 grant through Clackamas County Cultural Alliance, City Repair helped integrate permaculture principles into McKay's original design, Buehrig said. The painting now includes seasonal images and moon phases, including the incorporation of a manhole cover as the new moon.

Girl Scouts have gotten creative in raising money to cover the costs of community organizing. The Mcloughlin Neighborhood Association paid for compostable toilets as Oregon City-based Big Yellow Taxi played a free concert in Latourette Park. A garage sale covered the sign-printing costs.

For every pint of beer, soda or growler sold after 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Oregon City Brewing Company, 1401 Washington St., $1 will go to cover the $151 right-of-way permit from the city. Lewis said any work not by city crews in the right-of-way requires people to pay for a permit, in this case the basic right-of-way permit used for unusual circumstances. OC Brewing has fronted the cash for the permit, and if they sell more than 151 pints on Tuesday night, the extra pint-night money will go in an OC Parks Foundation account for donations to Latourette.

"This money could be spent as match for future grants, or expenditures for engagement activities," Buehrig said. "There are many costs that will be associated with improvements to Latourette."

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