One Pond, Two Purposes
The City of Sutherlin needed a place to store treated effluent
during the summer, when prohibited by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality from releasing into Calapooya Creek.
In 2014, the City purchased the 202-acre Ford’s Pond property, which included the 95-acre Ford’s Pond, a former logging pond. Plans to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant to produce Class A effluent created the possibility for unrestricted public access to Ford’s Pond. Local citizens saw this as an opportunity as Ford’s Pond was historically popular for fishing and birding. They suggested the City develop the property as both a wastewater storage pond and a new recreational area, creating an asset for citizens and the local tourism industry.
The Friends of Ford’s Pond had a vision of an open-space, natural community park at Ford’s Pond with safe, year-round access. Sutherlin is expanding on its west end, but is unable to fund any new parks for nearby residents. The Friends of Ford's Pond, a non-profit organization, entered into a partnership with the City in March 2015 and assisted the City in 2016 in obtaining an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department grant, a grant from The Ford Family Foundation, and donations from local businesses and individuals to complete a Master Plan in 2017.