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Laurel Pocket Park

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Laurel Pocket Park in the early morning.

A model for sustainable landscape, design and community involvement.


In 2007, at the intersection of Olney and 8th Street, a new pocket park broke ground. In line with the Bend 2030 Vision, pocket parks are frequently created on small or irregular pieces of land not otherwise generally suitable for development. They provide neighborhoods an area of green space and can create a habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Laurel Pocket Park, Conceptual Landscape, Plan

This park is a collaboration of some of Bends finest in the field of landscaping. Laurel Park, is a memorial park, built in honor of Laurel Copley. Laurel passed away tragically at a young age but left a lasting impression of vitality and a passion for learning. This park will be a lasting testament to carry on that passion. Her family’s home was in the middle of what is now Olney Avenue. They had lived next door to the site of the park, but were forced to re-locate for the expansion of this arterial in 2002. The area was left open space with no landscaping or character.

Most notably, Laurel Park was developed and constructed entirely through donations of time, services and material by many of Bend’s foremost experts. The intent is that the park will provide a model for the community on conserving and utilizing our natural resources to the best degree possible.

It is our hope that many in our community will reconsider the use water hungry turfs and vegetation and will consider updating their irrigation systems to include the use of smart stations and other water saving technology. Likewise, we are very excited to introduce permeable pavers that prevent storm water from flowing onto adjoining properties and into streets.

Drought tolerant plants.


The idea behind the park was to create a place of beauty while inspiring education in the community. Laurel Park will be built with sustainable landscape from the ground up. It is filled with educational components that will provide insight to local children, neighbors, and the community as a whole. The landscape consists of a virtual oasis of native and drought tolerant plants and trees that can readily become established in Central Oregon. The irrigation embraces the most innovative practices available, including a smart station and on site weather monitoring, an advantage with Bend’s many microclimates. The park also features permeable pavers which allow water to flow directly through them and an attractive storm water management system.

The Great Sunflower Project

Join the hunt for bees! Laurel Pocket Park is proudly participating in the world’s largest citizen science project focused on pollinator conservation.

Over the past few years, scientific studies have suggested that both honey bee and native bee populations are in trouble. What scientists had not studied on a large scale was how the wild bees were doing and what effect that has on pollination of garden plants, crops and wild plants. In 2008, we started this project as a way to gather information about our urban, suburban and rural bee populations and to empower people to learn about what was happening with the bees in their back yard. We enlisted people all over the world to observe their bees on Lemon Queen sunflowers. Sunflowers are relatively easy to grow and a great resource for bees. Since 2008, we have expanded the list of plants studied to include Bee balm, Cosmos, Rosemary, Tickseed, Goldenrod and Purple coneflower.

Let’s help our most important pollinators together!

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