NEWPORT, Ore. - A newly-combined state park on the coast has been named after the late Brian Booth, who helped set policy and direction for Oregon State Parks.
"This park is a great place, and now it's named after a great man," said John Potter, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Assistant Director.
Ona Beach State Park and the Beaver Creek State Natural Area (located 10 miles south of Newport) are being combined to form one park and the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to name it after Booth, who passed away in March 2012. Each part of the new park will retain its traditional local name, but the combined property will be known as Brian Booth State Park.
Booth became the first chairman of the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission in 1990. It was the first time that Oregon's state parks were under the control of a committee charged solely with setting park policy and direction. Up until that point, state parks had been under the Oregon Department of Transportation.
"At its inaugural meeting, Mr. Booth expressed the modest hope that by the end of the Commission's first term, Oregonians would say they had made a difference," said Potter. "Mr. Booth served three governors and took state parks through a period of considerable hardship and a crucible of hard times and funding challenges. He committed thousands of hours to his belief in state parks and the State of Oregon."
Ona Beach has a large picnic area; a broad, sandy beach; and paddler access to Beaver Creek.
Beaver Creek is notable for its high-quality wetlands, incredible upland habitat, and abundant wildlife.