Worrell Wayside (1.29 acres) was designated a County Park preserved and protected for public access and recreation purposes by County Commission Order 97-147 on September 24, 1997, nearly 25 years ago.
This 1.29 acres is a gem in the heart of downtown Bend. There is nothing else like it. It is a little piece of natural open space, a refuge for people, and a place to observe and explore a remnant of what our town looked like before it was paved and developed.
Currently there are trails, picnic tables, benches, and a gazebo. Unique within this rocky lava flow is the presence of an assortment of native plants; mature ponderosa pines, juniper, and native shrubs and grasses which are well established and do not require irrigation. Watchable wildlife is very present; lizards, chipmunks, marmots and deer; birds such as hummingbirds, goldfinches, juncos, and jays; and pollinators such as bumble bees, native bees, honeybees and butterflies.
Bill Worrell Wayside Park is at risk of being demolished, blown up and taken away from the citizens of Deschutes County for the purpose of creating additional parking spaces at the Bend County administrative campus on NW Wall for the sake of an unknown parking need estimated for some time in the future. County Commissioners Chang and De Bone have voted to demolish the park under the guise of “redesign” and excavate and blow it up so an additional 68 parking spaces can be carved out into a black top parking lot with some islands of grass, picnic tables, and benches. Worrell Wayside Park will be gone forever.
William “Bill” Worrell was a known educator, leader, wrestler, coach, official, high school teacher, professor and researcher. Worrell coached wrestling, officiated in high school and the Pac-8, announced state meets, served as commissioner of officials, and served on the Oregon Cultural Exchange executive board. He was recognized as one of Oregon‘s outstanding education leaders many times and received numerous awards for his dedication and leadership. In honor of community leadership and contributions, a county park was named the Worrell Wayside County Park in downtown Bend, Oregon.
Let your County Commissioners know this is not an acceptable “redesign” and request they look for parking somewhere else if it is really needed at all. You can email them at email@example.com.