Bicentennial Park (Hillsboro, Oregon)

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Bicentennial Park
Bicentennial Park playground - Hillsboro, Oregon.JPG
Playground at the park
Type Public, city
Location Hillsboro, Oregon
United States
Coordinates 45°31′18″N 122°57′29″W / 45.52167°N 122.95806°W / 45.52167; -122.95806Coordinates: 45°31′18″N 122°57′29″W / 45.52167°N 122.95806°W / 45.52167; -122.95806[1]
Area 4.4 acres (18,000 m2)
Created 1976
Operated by Hillsboro Parks & Recreation Department
Status Open
Website Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park is a neighborhood park in Hillsboro in the U.S. state of Oregon. Opened in 1976, it is named for the United States’ Bicentennial and also honors the city’s one-hundredth year as a city. Located at northeast 25th Avenue and Parkwood, the park covers about 4 acres (1.6 ha) and includes a water reservoir, a fire station, a playground, and a soccer field among other amenities.


By 1962 the city had purchased a 6.2-acre plot of land between northeast 24th and 25th streets at Parkwood to use in part for a water reservoir.[2][3][4] In December 1962, the roof collapsed on the water tower while workers were attempting to complete the dome, killing five people.[3][4] The Hillsboro Utilities Commission gave the land where the tower was located to the parks department to build a park at the site in 1975.[5]

On June 26, 1976, Hillsboro’s planning commission approved adding a temporary fire station on one-third of an acre of land at 25th Avenue and Parkwood, where a park would also be located.[6] Neighbors protested the decision due to concerns over noise and safety, and the city postponed a final decision on adding the fire station to the planned 4.4-acre (1.8 ha) park.[6] The city approved both the park and the temporary fire station in October 1976.[7] The temporary fire station then opened in 1977.[5]

That year Hillsboro received a grant from the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission in the amount of $2,500 for development of a soccer field; the city matched the grant with city funds to further develop the park.[8] Plans called for a soccer field, trails, and a playground, in addition to the fire station and water reservoir on the park grounds.[9]

On October 19, 1976, the city officially dedicated the still-undeveloped Bicentennial Park in a ceremony on the city’s one-hundredth birthday.[9][10] The dedication ceremony included mayor Miller M. Duris, Oregon Governor Robert Straub, and chairman of the parks and recreation commission, Will Crandall, along with about 100 others.[9] Although named Bicentennial Park, the park was said to be a monument to Hillsboro’s centennial, as one-hundred years prior to the dedication, the community was officially incorporated by the state.[9] At that time a sign was installed at the park, provided by the Jaycee-ettes.[9]

Water tower at the park

Later that year the Hillsboro Jaycees announced they would provide further improvements to the park starting in 1977.[8] There project would start with the installation of $5,500 in play equipment in March, and later add park benches, picnic tables, fire pits, a picnic shelter, and restrooms.[8] The soccer field opened in 1978, as did the picnic shelter and playground.[11]

In August 1984, the park was the site of several soccer matches between West German youth soccer team TSU Reichenbach and a team made up of Hillsboro High School and Glencoe High School players.[12][13] The Hillsboro teams lost both games against the 18-year-old Germans.[13] The water tower was upgraded in 2005 after issues with the soil had been discovered in 2001 that forced the city to keep the reservoir only half-full.[4][5]

A 13-year-old boy was attacked with a metal pole by a 12-year-old at the park in August 2008 after two other teenagers talked the perpetrator into attacking the other boy.[14] The Parks and Recreation Department began upgrades to the park in October 2009, paid for in part by a federal grant.[15] Renovations included new playground equipment, a new bathroom, and landscape improvements.[15] In 2010, the city announced the temporary fire station at the park would be closed after a new one was built at the nearby Hillsboro Airport.[16]


Bicentennial Park is a 4.4-acre (1.8 ha) neighborhood park in the middle of Hillsboro.[15] Features include a single soccer field, restrooms, a picnic shelter and picnic tables, paved walking paths, park benches, and a children’s playground.[11][5] The playground includes a climbing boulder similar to one at Orchard Park, on the other side of the city.[5] The signature large, green water reservoir is 150 feet (46 m) in diameter and has a capacity of 6,000,000 US gallons (23,000,000 l; 5,000,000 imp gal).[3][5] The park does not have off-street parking, but does include large oak trees along the southern end of property.[5]


  1. ^ "Bicentennial Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 2004-05-26. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  2. ^ "A&T Report 1N232DC00401". Geographic Information System: Assessment & Taxation Report. Washington County. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Stunned Workmen Relive Harrowing Water Tower Cavein". The Oregonian. December 13, 1962. p. 42. 
  4. ^ a b c Fuller, Kathy (July 2, 2010). "Site acquisition complete for two new water reservoirs". The Hillsboro Argus. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Stevens, Michael O. (July 14, 2010). "Hillsboro Park of the Week: Bicentennial". The Oregonian. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Fire unit protested". The Oregonian. September 8, 1976. p. 26. 
  7. ^ "Metro Calendar: Hillsboro City Council". The Oregonian. October 4, 1976. p. C8. 
  8. ^ a b c "Jaycees plan park project". The Oregonian. November 30, 1976. p. 20. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Governor visits on city's day for programs". The Hillsboro Argus. October 21, 1976. p. A1. 
  10. ^ "Governor to attend city fete". The Oregonian. October 12, 1976. p. B17. 
  11. ^ a b "Bicentennial Park". Parks. City of Hillsboro. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  12. ^ "International boot". The Hillsboro Argus. August 9, 1984. p. B1. 
  13. ^ a b Schneidermann, Floyd (August 12, 1984). "Soccer gets European kick". The Oregonian. p. 143. 
  14. ^ Snell, John (August 25, 2008). "Teens persuade one boy to hit another boy with pipe". The Oregonian. 
  15. ^ a b c "Shute, Bicentennial parks get upgrades". The Hillsboro Argus. October 16, 2009. 
  16. ^ Woolington, Rebecca (December 29, 2010). "2011 preview: Hillsboro Fire and Rescue to move Parkwood fire station". The Oregonian. 

External links[edit]

  • Parks – Hillsboro Magazine