Medford Railroad Park could be in its final years

Medford, Ore. — The end of the line may be coming soon for the Medford Railroad Park.

Without enough donations or volunteers, those that remain running it are concerned it could close down in the near future.

At the Medford Railroad Park it’s all about fun with the family.

“I like… the yellow one,” Orion said.

After living in Medford for most of his life, Ryan says he’d never even heard about the city park until his son Orion became obsessed with trains.

“The only thing he really likes to do is play with trains, so this is like the best spot,” Ryan said.

75 volunteers keep the park running every 2nd and 4th Sunday April through October, but track superintendent Tony Johnson says they’re all getting older and reaching the end of their time at the 36-year-old railroad park.

He’s afraid they might have to close down in the next couple of years.

“Right now we’re doing okay, but if it continues then we may have to think of other options,” Johnson said.

Of course, donations help to pay for gasoline, insurance and adding new attractions.

“If everyone donated 50 cents… we could pave this place with gold,” Johnson said.

What he’s really hoping, though, is that others can step in and see why they love volunteering at the park so much.

“We moan and complain sometimes ‘oh my back’ and ‘oh golly why am I out here in this heat’ but then you watch these kids and families having a good time… all the sudden your little miseries are nothing,” Johnson said.

As for Ryan, he says if the park did have to go, he’s thankful for the memories he’s been able to share with his son.

Johnson says donations can be made in the jars posted all around the park.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, contact Medford Parks and Recreation.

 

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