Newport to celebrate new park pavilionThe city of Newport will hold a community event Saturday to celebrate a new park pavilion that honors a longtime city parks volunteer.
The city of Newport will hold a community event Saturday to celebrate a new park pavilion that honors a longtime city parks volunteer.
The 11 a.m. event on Saturday at the Bailey School Forest will mark the opening of the Michael J. Phillips Outdoor Learning Facility, a 45-square-foot gazebo that is the park’s first.
The 80-acre school forest, located on Wild Ridge Trail near Century Avenue, provides a place for an estimated 3,000 school kids each year to learn about the outdoors.
The gazebo is named after Mike Phillips, a longtime Newport parks commissioner, volunteer and outdoors advocate who was instrumental in the creation of the school forest after the Bailey family —owners of Bailey Nurseries — donated the acreage to the city in 1989.
A $10,000 donation from a memorial fund set up in Phillips’ honor after he passed away in recent years will help cover a portion of the project cost.
School District 833, the city and Bailey Nurseries all contributed toward the roughly $50,000 cost, according to the city. The Newport City Council approved its construction in February.
The hilly, grassy, wooded parkland is laced with hiking trails and has been a designated environmental learning park for District 833 since 1998.