Park to light up the holidays

$1.5 million project at The Commons in Medford will have Christmas tree as focus
Nephi Hartshorn stacks paving stones next to the second park block of The Commons near the Lithia Motors headquarters. The park will include a stage at its south end. The project is scheduled to be finished in time for the Medford Winter Light Festival Nov. 30. Mail Tribune photos / Bob PennellBob Pennell

A second new park being built near the new Lithia Motors headquarters will be finished in time for a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at the end of November.

KOGAP Enterprises Inc. of Medford is building the $1.5 million park between Fourth and Fifth streets.

"I think it's beautiful," said Richard Hartshorn, a 68-year-old Horse Creek, Calif., resident. "It's a real asset for downtown Medford."

Hartshorn and his son run Hartshorn Enterprises and are installing the pavers along the sidewalk in Pear Blossom Park in The Commons.

The park will have a large grassy area in the middle, with a stage on the southern end and a 16-foot Christmas tree on the north end.

The tree-lighting ceremony will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 30.

The newest park is north of a park completed earlier this year.

Ron Faber, foreman for KOGAP, said he expects the newest park to be finished in about four weeks.

Sod will be installed next week on what will be a grassy area that slopes toward the stage.

An extensive drain system has been installed to keep water from pooling.

"There shouldn't be any water down there at all," Faber said.

The grassy area, designed to handle a lot of wear and tear, will be used for picnics and as a seating area during concerts.

Three Colorado spruce trees will be planted at the north end. The largest tree will be 16 feet tall, and the two others will be 12 feet.

Faber said there was discussion about getting larger trees, but there also was concern that larger trees might not survive the transplant.

The two parks are along Bartlett Street, with Fourth Street on the north end and Sixth Street on the south.

A controversial portal — the former entrance to the old Greyhound bus station — is next to the stage and will be refurbished at a cost of $30,000. Lithia Motors will provide $12,500 toward the cost and will recondition the Greyhound letters.

Green tiles have been fabricated to replace missing tiles on the portal and will be installed next week.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or Follow on Twitter at @reporterdm.

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