The Baker City Parks Board and the Baker City Tree Board have approved a plan from Baker City Events, a local nonprofit volunteer group, to move forward with a campaign to add benches to Geiser-Pollman Park, the city’s largest park.
Baker City Events started the effort in September 2020 by donating a 400-pound concrete bench for the park.
The bench is emblazoned with information about how others can donate money for additional benches that would bear donors’ names. A similar fundraising campaign, selling commemorative bricks, helped build the Powder River Pavilion in the park.
Lynette Perry, the events coordinator and treasurer for Baker City Events, hopes people will be interested in donating to help purchase more benches.
“We’ll be moving forward with taking orders for those and hopefully have some more in the park by the time the summer music season starts,” said Perry, who is also a Baker City Council member.
The benches are built by Bricks R Us in Florida, the company that also made the bricks that replaced damaged ones in the Powder River Pavilion.
Donors can give $1,500 for their own bench, or families and other groups can work together to raise money for a bench.
“The beauty of it is there’s enough lines for engraving on there that ten families could go together and buy one bench and each one of them could have a line engraving a memorial to their family,” Perry said.
Perry does not know if there will be a limit on how many benches can be installed. She said it probably will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
“My main concern is the Pavilion area for people who come to concerts and have to drag their lawn chairs in. I’d like to get some good coverage of seating in that area,” said Perry, who also coordinates the Powder River Music Review, a series of concerts in the park on summer Sunday afternoons.
Perry said she has noticed tourists who want to attend a concert but are discouraged by the lack of seating. And not all travelers have lawn chairs.
The park has picnic tables, but they are heavy and difficult to move. Perry said she thinks many people aren’t sure they’re allowed to move tables.
People who are interested in buying a bench for the park can contact Baker City Events by calling Perry at 541-519-5653 or by email at bakercityevents
“I’m excited about it,” Perry said.