An old icon returning
Ochoco Creek Park is about to see a familiar and beloved icon come back to the park to provide refreshment for the community youth.
For parents and children of the 1980s and 1990s, the lion's head fountain was a favorite part of a visit to Ochoco Creek Park, and was a fixture for approximately 16 years. It was installed by the Prineville Lions Club in 1982 and removed around 1998.
The president of the Prineville Lions Club, Dick Hollenbeck, said that it was removed because "the plumbing was old in it, and it was just worn out."
Duane Garner and Crook County Parks and Recreation, or CCPRD, staff introduced the idea of bringing back the popular fountain to the local Lions Club.
The local nonprofit will once again be installing a similar fountain, which will look like the original structure. The pad is currently in place in the original location, and the fountain will soon be installed. The majestic lion's head currently occupies its temporary location at CCPRD and will soon make its debut at the park.
The entire project, including labor, has been a partnership with the Prineville Lions Club and CCPRD. The Lions Club has fully funded the materials and costs for the installation. After near completion, a 2-foot rim of pavers will be put around the outside perimeter.
"This is a brand new bubbler (fountain)," said Hollenbeck. "It is manufactured back east, and it is a replacement for the old lion bubbler that the Lions had put in the park in the 1980s."
He added that some communities have a lion's head bench as well.
"Lions club(s) used them in city parks and that sort of thing as a service to the community," he added.
The original drinking fountain is in the mouth of the lion. The fountain is referred to as a "bubbler." Lions Clubs have been providing this service to communities for more than 60 years.
The new structure will be made from an epoxy material and will be 5 feet tall at the top of the head. Hollenbeck said that the epoxy will make it more water- and weather-resistant. It will be installed at Ochoco Creek Park, across from the new skate park and adjacent to the restrooms. It is in the same location as the original fountain.
Hollenbeck said that this project is a sample of what the club does for the community. "Our primary focus is providing hearing aids and eyeglasses to people in the community who otherwise can't afford them."
Last year, the Prineville Lions Club spent approximately $6,000 on eyeglasses and hearing aids, working through the Department of Human Services and the community. He emphasized that the club in Prineville was founded in 1938. There are approximately 47,000 Lions clubs in the world in more than 200 countries. The international organization was founded in 1917.
In addition to the eyeglasses and hearing aids, they provide numerous other services to the community, such as vision testing in elementary schools, providing students with information on the national flag and giving them each a flag with a stand. They are a nonprofit organization, and they provide myriad other charitable functions.
The Prineville Lions Club meets at 7 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. They meet at the Apple Peddler, 1485 NE 3rd Street, Prineville.
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