Recent storm damages park for the blind

Park for the blind damaged by recent storms

SANDY, Ore. -- Oral Hull Park in Sandy has been serving people who are blind or visually impaired for the last 55 years.

Hundreds of visitors come to the retreat every year.

"Even though you've lost your sight, you can still come and enjoy the outdoors," said executive director Sharon Elder.

But the recent storms have damaged a popular section of the park. It's a 6-acre nature area and fishing pond at the end of a winding road.

But walking down that road these days is a bit unsettling to say the least. About a dozen trees look as if they could fall at any time.

The entire hillside next to the road is unstable. And the road itself is damaged after a huge hemlock tree crashed down over it and its guard rail over the weekend.

Veteran Stephen Butler has been both visiting and volunteering at the park for the last two years.

He described what it's like to walk down that road now.

"You probably can’t hear it, but I do," he said. "And I'm hearing creaking and I'm wondering to myself... I can’t see it so am I at risk now of one of these huge trees coming down on my head."

The nonprofit foundation which runs the park said it will have to fix the area, but does not have the money in the budget to do it right now.

The foundation estimates it will cost more than $10,000 to repair the hillside.

It is hoping tree services or landscapers will either donate services or offer them for at a reduced rate.

The park is hoping donors will help out as well.

(© 2017 KGW)


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