Phase one complete at Weed's Cougar Park

Steve Gerace
The Weed Revitalization Coalition celebrated the completion of phase one at Cougar Park Saturday

Five years in the making, phase one of Weed’s Cougar Park was celebrated Saturday during an event that was held mostly indoors at the Weed Mercantile Mall.

Project manager (and tractor operator) John Oliver and painter Daryl Brooks pulled the cover to unveil the new Cougar Park and Picnic Area sign that will soon be placed at the park, which is located to the east and south of the Merc building, just beyond  Main Street’s 90 degree turn toward the railroad tracks.

More than 200 plants have been planted in 250 feet of planter bed for phase one, which was funded by numerous donations of money and time from businesses and individuals.

The park also features picnic tables with adjacent electrical outlets, a drip water system, electrical lines connected to a power box with breakers, railroad ties, cement blocks, and barrels that will eventually be planted with living plants.

It is a joint project of the Weed Revitalization Coalition, City of Weed, Southern Oregon Pacific Railroad, and Weed Mercantile Mall.

Revitalization Coalition president Joyce Oliver detailed the contributions involved in phase one and noted that all the plants are native to Siskiyou County and came from Menzies Natives Nursery on Old Stage Road in Weed.

“People have been contributing out of the blue,” John Oliver said during a tour of the Park after the ceremony. He noted that someone recently handed him a $20 bill to help the project, while several people have stopped to offer plants, and one woman recently stopped and told him she had some railroad ties she wanted to contribute.

Oliver pointed out that there are no paid members on the Revitalization Coalition.

“Our motto is ‘Working Together Works,” said the Olivers, who purchased and restored the Mercantile building after it had been vacant for five years and have been involved in many projects, including the Centennial Plaza and Skate Park.

Officers of the Weed Revitalization Coalition are Joyce Oliver, president; John Oliver, vice president; Pat Pitsenbarger, secretary; and Gene Pitsenbarger, treasurer. Board members are Earl Wilson, Frances Pucci, Martin Nicholas, and Mike Shannon.

Major funders for Cougar Park are the WRC, City of Weed, US Bancorp, Menzies Natives Nursery, Roseburg Timber Products, and J & B Excavation.

A more complete list of contributors to the Cougar Park project will be published in next week’s newspaper.