Astoria Nordic Heritage Park devotees are celebrating as their fundraising goals for the project just reached an important milestone of $1 million. Efforts to build a monument to honor Nordic immigrants to the Oregon’s North Coast and to celebrate the heritage and traditions their descendants hold dear started in 2015.
Phase One of the project included design and engineering and is complete and paid. The West Studio of Seattle are the landscape architects and Herrera Environmental and Crowe Engineering of Portland and Beaverton completed the engineering plans. The City of Astoria entered into an agreement with the non-profit Astoria Scandinavian Heritage Association for the park to be built on city property in the former People’s Park between 15th and 16th Streets on Marine Drive. The site is located at the entrance to Astoria’s Downtown Historic District. Directly north of the park are the Columbia River, the Astoria Riverwalk, and the Astoria Trolley line. The Columbia River Maritime Museum is one block east of the park site and the Clatsop County Heritage Museum is one block south. The Astoria City Council and all appropriate departments and commissions have approved the park design and engineered plans.
Phase Two of the park project is in progress and money is in the bank to pay its costs. Park Committee Chair Judi Lampi and Vice-Chair Janet Bowler are working with vendors across the northwest to procure park features to have them ready when construction starts. OM Stone of Hillsboro will manufacture the granite features. SeaReach of Sheridan will research and manufacture the interpretive panels. All Metals of Astoria will procure stainless steel railing for the park. Illume Incorporated of Seattle will build the artistic metal elements for the park such as the Midsummer Pole and Gateway Arch. Turnstone Concrete of Seattle will make the concrete trolls and trunks.
Phase Three of the park project includes ground breaking and construction and will take place when the fundraising is complete. An estimated $450,000 is needed in order to start the construction process. The park committee anticipates this will happen in early fall 2021. Owner’s representative for the construction process will be Urban Resources of Portland and general contractor is Rickenbach Construction of Astoria.
Park Committee Chair Judi Lampi said in regard to reaching the million-dollar milestone, “During these difficult times, our success in fundraising really demonstrates how much people’s heritage means to them. History matters and it’s important to remember the lessons of the past.” Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Association vice-president Tony Larson said, “Astoria Nordic Heritage Park provides an opportunity for the community to remember and celebrate our Nordic forebears’ significant contributions towards enabling a modern, diverse and prosperous Astoria to emerge and flourish.” Loran Mathews, president of the non-profit Astoria Scandinavian Heritage Association, says, “Astoria Nordic Heritage Park will extend the presence of the Nordic community on the North Coast beyond the three days in June when we celebrate the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival. We thank all who have donated but still need the support of the whole community and wider region to bring this project to fruition.”
More information about the park and images are available at www.AstoriaNordicPark.org.