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The CPRD project in Dundee is moving along as a master plan is being formulated

GRAPHIC PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - A contractor puts the finishing touches on taking down a hazelnut orchard on the Sander Estate on Fifth Street in Dundee as part of a plan formulated by the land's owner, the Chehalem Park and Recreation District.

On Oct. 10, workers contracted by the Chehalem Park and Recreation District fell and chipped an orchard of hazelnut trees – and one walnut tree – at the Sander Estate property on Fifth Street in Dundee. The property, owned for decades by the Sander family before being sold to CPRD several years ago, is in the process of being converted into a park with myriad features for the community.

"That was part of the original agreement in that land exchange to retire the hazelnut orchard once it reached maturity," CPRD spokeswoman Kat Ricker said. "We repurposed the chips as ground cover throughout the land, strategically placing them to sink into the ground and stabilize the soil over the rainy months ahead."

Workers spread the wood chips from the trees around the soil at the park property in order to keep the soil firm and solid. It was an all-day effort that saw workers use advanced construction equipment to convert the retired trees into large piles of wood chips prior to their being spread.

Work on the Sander Estate is essentially paused until the spring, Ricker said, and CPRD is still in the process of formulating a master plan for the property. They have brought on Scott/Edwards Architecture (SCA) – the Portland-based company that worked on the renovated aquatic and fitness center – to consult and help plan out the Sander Estate.

"We're still in the discussion and planning stages to get the master plan drawn up," Ricker said. "We've received a proposal from SCA and that went before the board at our last meeting. They will continue to discuss that at future meetings."

One year ago, CPRD received the results of a community survey about what to do with the Sander property. Community members expressed a desire for the property to include an all-abilities playground, a nature play area for children and an outdoor meeting space, among other amenities. Proposals for bike trails, disc golf courses, tennis courts and an off-leash dog park were all unpopular choices among those who responded.

The Dundee City Council has previously floated the idea of the property having multiple uses or splitting it into separate projects. Recently, city administrator Rob Daykin encouraged the CPRD board to put a pause on its visioning for properties in Dundee because of the Newberg School District's upcoming bond proposal – which will likely seek a relocation of Dundee Elementary School.

While it's unclear which park property the school district might seek out, if any, CPRD is putting its Dundee projects – Sander Estate included – on hold for the winter while the school district works out its official bond proposal. Ricker said CPRD is prepared for any eventuality and looks forward to having its plan for the Sander Estate resolved as soon as possible.

"In light of him bringing that up, we took it under advisement and paused for a moment to investigate that further," Ricker said. "There may or may not be further discussion on that front as the school district pursues that bond, but we'll see."


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