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Oral Hull looks to community to clear trailers

-  Over the next few months, the foundation hopes to dismantle and move at least nine campers


The Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind is looking to upgrade its park. But to do that, the foundation first must start to tear down several ’60s and ’70s era trailers. With the help of community members, Oral Hull employees hope to break even on the process of clearing the trailers.

“We’re trying to be as green as possible in removing them,” said board member Mary Hankins, who is working with Executive Director Sharon Elder on the project. “We’re going to recycle and sell what we can.”by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Mary Hankins and Roger Hall take a tour of the soon to be removed trailers.

Developed in 1962, Oral Hull Park is a 22-acre spread of land northeast of Sandy. During the summer, the property opens up as a camp for people with blindness or low vision and their families. It has a dormitory, pool, hiking trails, horseback riding and a fishing pond. Behind the newly updated dormitory sit 14 trailers, five of them privately owned, in varying levels of disrepair. Trailers that used to be rented out to campers are now simply taking up land, unable to be used as lodging for safety reasons.

Oral Hull hopes to recruit volunteers to help dismantle the trailers. Hankins said they plan to sell aluminum and other metals from the trailers in order to pay for a backhoe and operator, the largest expense of the project. To receive the most money from the aluminum casing around the outside of the trailers, hundreds of screws have to be removed. They also need help to take apart metal hardware from the inside of the trailers to be recycled as well.by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Many of the metal hardware and fittings within the trailers will be recycled and sold to pay for more expensive parts of the project.

Even the 1970s inspired décor of the trailers may bring in some money to cover the costs. Hawthorne Vintage in Southeast Portland is known for its vintage furniture. With the help of similar businesses, Hankins hopes they can bring in some money from the sale of the furniture.

Aided by Roger Hall, of Moving Seniors, Hankins and Elder hope to clear the area of trailers by June 1. The park will be open for retreats in July. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Oral Hull will soon announce a work party day to dismantle the trailers. Volunteers will need to bring cordless drills to help remove the hundred of screws holding the trailers together.

Later in the year, grant money will help them begin construction on new cabins.

“We really need to update this camp, and the way to do it is to have cabins,” Hankins said.

The cabins will utilize the same pads used for the trailers and will hook up into the original utilities.