Azalea park is a thirty-three acre park containing ancient native azaleas that were growing here when Lewis and Clark wintered on the Oregon Coast in 1805-06.
Azalea Park offers active and passive recreational activities. It lies amongst several residential neighborhoods, but manages to preserve unique landscapes and open spaces. Azalea Park, however, is much more than both of those things. It is a community project that supports Brookings’ claim to be “The City of Volunteers’.
The native azaleas had long been overgrown with berry vines and needed pruning. A decade ago a private Brookings resident recognized a need and started to care for the bushes. This encouraged the Department of Parks and Recreation to begin restoring the plants. This, in turn, released a flood of volunteer energy that built walkways and planting areas, cleaned up debris and planted rhododendrons and bulbs. The revitalization of this park has brought much beauty and joy to the residents of Brookings as well as to guests visiting our area.
The abundance of the native azalea bushes is a direct reflection of the care given to these very old plants by local citizens. If you are here in the springtime when the native azalea are in full bloom, you will be surprised by their beauty and fragrance. The turf is fifty year old bent grass, and there is newer ryegrass on the two combination softball/baseball/soccer fields.
Located in the park is the wonderful Capella by the Sea. This unique building offers the perfect setting for memorable events, small or large. Constructed with native wood and stone, the rustic Capella by the Sea includes views of the Chetco River, Port of Brookings Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. What an incredible addition to Azalea Park.
Other park amenities include a sand volleyball court, picnic tables, handicapped accessible restrooms and water fountains and horseshoe pits. A “Stage under the Stars” band shell hosts summer concerts, and the “Kidtown” bark groundcover play area provides younger children with a play area offering forts, bridges, slides, tires and ropes. Both the shell stage and the wonderful playground were built by volunteer power.
It’s Christmas Time
Every December Azalea Park is the site of “Nature’s Coastal Holiday Light Show” which returns bigger and brighter each year with dazzling light displays created by the many community service groups in this friendly, “can do” town. From the middle of the month until January 1, the Park is transformed into a winter wonderland with a light show and sculpture display. The entire creative display follows a Northwest theme.
So, Please Enjoy
A visit to this old garden complex which is continually renewing itself, is much more than a pleasant visit for every member of your family. It is an excellent way to be in touch with, and develop a connection with another family; all those volunteers – women, men and youngsters – who built and maintain Azalea Park and recommend it to you for your pleasure.
Located on Old County Road, Azalea Park is easily reached from highway 101. Take the first road north of the Chetco River Bridge. You will see the attractive triangle of land maintained by the Brookings Garden Club. Go to the stop sign and turn left. Signs will direct you to the parking area facing onto Old County Road.