If you have a diverse group of students that have different interests, abilities, and learning styles, then consider signing up for our Environmental Education program at Cantrall Buckley County Park. This park exhibits unique examples of community engagement and stewardship through local artistic contributions, volunteer restoration work, recreational events, trail maintenance and growing utilization of interpretive, formal, and nonformal outdoor educational practices.
Engaging with the community is a valued part of our program and opens routes of differentiation and belonging that are not found in many other places. If you are interested in attending our residential programming be sure to check if you and your class qualify for Measure 99 Outdoor School Funding here.
Lessons being offered at
These lessons are primarily designed for 5th and 6th grade but can be modified to younger and older audiences.
- Park History Detective Scavenger Hunt
- Blue Ribbon Niche Investigation
- Vegetation Survey
- Soil Sampling
- Macroinvertebrate Testing
- Planning and carrying out community Service Learning Projects
Located in Jacksonville, OR, Cantrall-Buckley Park is an 88-acre campground with day use and overnight use areas. It is a popular recreational spot and well-beloved by the community. The park was proposed in 1961 and construction began in 1965, but due to flood plain damage from a 1964 flood, much of the prior preparation work was lost. The Jackson County Parks Director hired a group of volunteer high schoolers, who did the majority of the work on the park, including riparian planting, invasive blackberry removal, construction, plumbing, and electrical work. They learned all of these new skills and gave the community a great new recreational area. Once the park opened in 1968, the County Parks added trails, a gazebo, two ponds, an irrigation system, a playground, and a restroom. Through it all, Parks Director Neil Ledward insisted that crews keep the trees. Another major flood in 1974 destroyed much of prior development, but with the help of the Jackson County Youth Work Corps and county crews, the park was rebuilt.
In the 1990s, due to limited funds, the department decided to close Cantrall Buckley Park. Soon thereafter, volunteers stepped in to help with maintenance, and a proposal to have the park run by the community instead of the county was approved. Improvements in the early 2000s included a wastewater treatment system, a new entrance road, updated trails, and educational signs. Jackson County Parks took over management of the park again in 2017, but the community continued to be involved in the installation of solar panels, a sundial display, landscaping, pollinator gardens planted by school children, and benches designed by high school metalwork students.