Oregon's state parks aren't just places. From the air, they may look like patches of ground much like any other, but two things turn these places into parks.
First, we do make a few changes -- as few as possible -- when we add a trail, create an overlook, preserve a historic building or three, sometimes make a place to camp. Just enough improvements, we think, to help you enjoy the place without getting in the way of its natural or historic beauty.
The other thing that turns a place into a park? You. You make a place a park when you visit. You also make it a park when you show your devotion and chip in to help protect and improve parks for the people who will come after us. This dedication -- yours and ours -- to the ongoing mission of parks distinguishes your state parks from some ordinary patch of ground.
Or you could make a donation to the private, independent Oregon State Parks Foundation. The Foundation is the only 501-(c)-3 nonprofit in Oregon dedicated to improving and protecting your state park system, and they are a crucial way to channel your financial support. Their past successes include critical improvements at Crown Point, Kam Wah Chung and Fort Yamhill, just to name a few.