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Scappoose's newest park, named for Chinook chief, opens to visitors on July 26

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Scappoose City Councilor Megan Greisen, Councilor Natalie Sanders, Mayor Scott Burge and Councilor Joel Haugen cut the ribbon to open Chief Concomly Park on Friday, July 26.Scappoose's newest park officially opened to visitors on Friday, July 26. Chief Concomly Park is located off Seely Lane, just across South Scappoose Creek from Veterans Park.

The park opening brings a pledge signed by Mayor Scott Burge closer to fruition for Scappoose; Earlier this year, Burge signed the 10 Minute Walk pledge, promising that park access will be within a 10-minute walk for all Scappoose residents by the year 2050.

A covered pavilion at Chief Concomly Park "is going to be one of the central features" of the park, said City Manager Mike Sykes. The pavilion makes the park a prime location for reunions or other large group gatherings, Sykes said. The park also includes bathrooms, a half basketball court, and a playground with swings, a slide and a climbing wall.

The park project has cost roughly $1 million, including a $450,000 grant from the state, according to Sykes.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - The large pavillion at Chief Concomly Park can be used for birthday parties, reunions or other gatherings.

Though the significant construction projects have been completed, small additions are still anticipated. In coming weeks, the city will install picnic tables and benches in the park.

The park is surrounded by residential buildings, including high-density housing.

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Chief Concomly Park in Scappoose includes a playground with swings, a rock wall and a slide.

"One of the biggest challenges with building parks in places that are already developed is finding space," Sykes explained.

The park is named for Chinook Chief Concomly, who is estimated to have lived from 1765 to 1830. The Scappoose City Council had previously named the park Tomee Park, for Concomly's daughter, but changed the name last year after historical research showed conflicting spellings of Tomee's name. Tomee married Thomas McKay, the first non-native person known to arrive in the area. Concomly died around 1830 from malaria, likely brought by white settlers. The malaria decimated native communities in just a few years. According to historical estimates, over 80% of some native communities died from malaria.

"City Council felt that naming this park after Chief Concomly was an important way of celebrating and recognizing the rich Native American history of the Scappoose area," stated a press release from the city last year.

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