Medford council tours Greenway cleanup work

Strolling along the Greenway today, the Medford City Council got a glimpse of what the riparian corridor along Bear Creek should look like.

"It's really cleaned up nicely," Councilor Eli Matthews said.

A team of volunteers has been busy cleaning up both sides of the creek next to Hawthorne Park, as well as just to the north past the Fourth Street bridge.

This summer the volunteers hope they can secure a $30,000 grant to keep heading north and clean up the riparian corridor all the way to McAndrews Road.

The council toured the area to see first hand the effects of cleanup work on city property as well as at The Inn at the Commons.

The council is looking at remodeling Hawthorne Park this summer at a cost of about $1.5 million.

Brian Sjothun, parks and recreation director, said the immediate plan is to continue the clean-up effort from Hawthorne Park to McAndrews Road.

"This was a sleeping spot for some residents," Sjothun said, pointing to an area cleared of blackberry bushes where homeless people spent the night.

"I used to ride this all the time when I went to work, but it never looked this good," Councilor John Michaels said.

The Oregon Department of Transportation also has been cutting through vegetation on the east side of the greenway near McAndrews, while the city will concentrate on the west side.

— Damian Mann

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