The Ford Institute Leadership Program, Lincoln City Cohort 2, is pleased to announce that Oregon artist Dan Hitchcock has been awarded the $4,500 commission to create three artistically-carved wood benches to be installed along the forested trails in Lincoln City’s Agnes Creek Open Space. Dan Hitchcock is passionate about nature and its preservation and says “living on the Alsea River for twenty years and being in love with the Oregon Coast Range has prepared me for this project.” Dan will bring to this project his talent, history of working with wood and experience in community involvement, carving cedar benches for the Alpine, Alsea, Bellfountain and Kings Valley communities just over a year ago.
This bench commission is an integral component of a project goal to enhance Agnes Creek Open Space and to create a community asset that promotes appreciation of the natural environment, fitness, and provides an artistic encounter for all ages. The benches will include imagery inspired by the flora, fauna and forest ecosystem of Agnes Creek. The benches will be complete and installed later this fall. A dedication event will follow the completion of the project and will be announced at a later date.
The Ford Family Foundation has been committed to supporting rural communities for nearly sixty years. Through scholarships, leadership training and other community vitality programs, they have made a great impact on rural Oregon. In 2013, Lincoln City was selected to participate in such programs through the Ford Institute Leadership Program.
The series consists of three separate cohorts of diverse individuals from the local community with one trait in common: a desire to work towards improving their community. As of March 2015, the second cohort of nearly 30 participants completed their 48 hours of classroom training through facilitation by non-profit RDI (Rural Development Initiatives) and since then has been working together on their group-selected community improvement project: building a footbridge over the creek and installing three carved wooden benches.
The Ford Family Foundation provides matching grant funds of up to $6,000 to complete each Cohort’s class projects. Cohort 2 has been working together to raise the funds for the grant match through a car wash and community donations. The Cohort wishes to thank the Agnes Creek Project fiscal partner, the Lincoln County Foundation, and all those who have donated volunteer hours and money toward this project for Agnes Creek Open Space.