April 4, 2022
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Second round of demolition for Blue Heron site approved
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde to start second round of demolition on former Blue Heron papermill
Oregon City, Ore. – Today, Monday April 4, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde is starting the next round of demolition on the former Blue Heron papermill in Oregon City.
This demolition includes four structures: the water filtration plant, millwright shop, auto shop, and carpentry shop. These actions come after Oregon City staff approved demolition permits last month. The Tribe anticipates that the permits for the site’s auto and carpentry shops will be approved by April 15. The structures in this phase are visible from Main Street in Oregon City and mark an important milestone in the redevelopment of the site.
In total, this round of demolition should take 7-8 weeks. Demolition of the water filtration plant is expected to take the longest, at 4-5 weeks. The millwright shop, auto shop and carpentry shop are each expected to take one week.
“The demolition of these buildings provides visual progress on the site all the while much hard work, planning, and visioning has been done by the Confederated Tribe of the Grand Ronde since their purchase of the former Blue Heron paper mill. The Oregon City community is looking forward to the next phases and future developments on the site and excited by the speed and pace of progress,” said Mayor Rachel Lyles Smith.
As the demolition progresses, public spaces begin to take shape, as one of the site’s main gathering places for the public and Tribal Members alike will begin to emerge. Currently, that space is taken up by three of the four buildings (millwright, auto shop and carpentry shop).
“We are pleased to start the second phase of demolition and make further progress towards implementing our vision – restoring the land and creating opportunities for all Oregonians to access this special site,” said Cheryle A. Kennedy, Chairwoman of the Grand Ronde Tribe.
This round of demolition brings the Tribe’s vision of healing, connection, and public access to Willamette Falls to life and builds upon the progress made by Grand Ronde. It is a vision that includes environmental and cultural restoration alongside thoughtful new development; a vision that will help restore public access, provide economic prosperity and return the Tribe to the role of caregiver over an important piece of its homeland. Since purchasing the property in August 2019, the Tribe has unveiled its vision for the site (March 2021), started environmental remediation (August 2019), launched demolition (September 2021) and secured federal support from the EPA (May 2021).
The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon includes over 30 tribes and bands from western Oregon, northern California and southwest Washington. For more information, visit www.grandronde.org.