SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – The Thurston Hills Natural Area is opening its gates to the public this weekend.
Willamalane Superintendent Vincent Mortorello said the area encompasses more than 600 acres and features a community forest.
“I think it's an opportunity to not only be out in nature, but it's also an opportunity for health and wellness," he said. "Having those recreational opportunities, whether it's more passive or more active. This property and these trails will allow for that."
The area features trails for people to hike, bike or run. A mountain biking trail will also be added, but that is still under construction.
Martorello said they see this as a great investment for the community.
"We are working with Springfield Public Schools and looking at how to build some of their coursework,” he said. “We have also reached out to different agencies like Oregon State University and Forest Today and Forever to really look at what public education piece can we do.”
The grand opening of the natural area is Saturday at 10 a.m. at 7575 McKenzie Highway in Springfield.