(Lincoln City, Oregon) – The Agnes Creek Open Space near Lincoln City and its forested trails will soon get three new ornate viewing benches, thanks to a $4,500 commission to Oregon artist Dan Hitchcock, coming from the Ford Institute Leadership Program, Lincoln City Cohort 2.
This bench commission is an integral component of a project goal to enhance Agnes Creek Open Space – a much-loved area of the central Oregon coast – and to create a community asset that promotes appreciation of the natural environment, fitness, and provides an artistic encounter for all ages. The benches will include imagery inspired by the flora, fauna and forest ecosystem of Agnes Creek. The benches will be complete and installed later this fall. A dedication event will follow the completion of the project and will be announced at a later date.
Hitchcock is passionate about nature and its preservation.
“Living on the Alsea River for twenty years and being in love with the Oregon Coast Range has prepared me for this project,” Hitchcock said.
Dan will bring to this project his talent, history of working with wood and experience in community involvement, carving cedar benches for the Alpine, Alsea, Bellfountain and Kings Valley communities just over a year ago.
The Ford Family Foundation has worked on supporting rural communities for nearly sixty years. Through scholarships, leadership training and other community vitality programs, they have made a great impact on rural Oregon. In 2013, Lincoln City was selected to participate in such programs through the Ford Institute Leadership Program. The series consists of three separate cohorts of diverse individuals from the local community with one trait in common: a desire to work towards improving their community.
As of March 2015, the second cohort of nearly 30 participants completed their 48 hours of classroom training through facilitation by non-profit RDI (Rural Development Initiatives) and since then has been working together on their group-selected community improvement project: building a footbridge over the creek and installing three carved wooden benches.
The Ford Family Foundation provides matching grant funds of up to $6,000 to complete each Cohort’s class projects. Cohort 2 has been working together to raise the funds for the grant match through a car wash and community donations.