Glenwood Park update

A recent Since You Asked query from Suzy R. wondering if Glenwood Park between Medford and Phoenix was still on the drawing board didn't register with present-day Medford and Jackson County officials. But a long-time resident and a retired parks director helped us to turn up more details on a park plan that fizzled.

Manuel "Lou" Nunes used to live on East Glenwood Road and remembers when the county purchased the land where James and Helen Nunes (no relation) once operated a dairy between Highway 99 and Interstate 5.

Indeed, the property was once considered for a future park along the Bear Creek Greenway.

Retired Jackson County parks director Neil Ledward confirmed the transaction for the property behind present-day Greenwood Estates Mobile home park.

"It had been an old dairy farm with cows and hay and they also extracted a bunch of gravel out of there," Ledward says.

Mail Tribune archives from 1980 reveal the county acquired the 58 acres for $178,000.

"It was a pretty big piece of property with a barn and an old farm house that were beyond repair and torn down," Ledward says. "At one time our plans were to turn it into a park, but it never materialized — we didn't have the money at the time."

He says there would have been enough room for three or four Little League baseball field, but like today the county was short of cash. Ironically, Medford's sports park is just a short hike or bike from the location.

A 12-acre triangle portion of the old Nunes property remains open land.

"We met with people in the neighborhood," Ledward says. "The people wanted a playground and a ball field, but access was a little bit of a problem. The economy at the time was bad and we didn't have enough money to do anything."

By the end of the 1980s the park project was scrapped, he says. "That area has kind of turned into wildlife habit."

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