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Bush’s Pasture Park
With its paved and natural trails, orchards, old oak groves, and rose garden, Bush’s Pasture Park is an outdoor retreat. The park hosts the annual Salem Art Fair and Festival on the third weekend of July and is also home to the Bush House Museum.
Walk along a paved trail through Douglas-fir and oak woods carpeted with blooming fawn lilies and reach the picnic area, playground, and Cow and Cat statue at the top of a slope. Read on to find out more.
Located only blocks away from the Oregon state capitol building, 90.5 acre Bush’s Pasture Park is blanketed with trees and open swaths of grass. Guests can enjoy picnic areas, playgrounds, tennis courts, and wooded trails. The park is also home to Willamette University sports fields including McCulloch Stadium and Spec Keene Stadium.
The park also houses the Asahel Bush House Museum and a rose garden, both of which can be reserved for wedding ceremonies. Other highlights of the park include the Conservatory and the Bush Barn Art Center galleries.
There are many trails that weave through the park’s oak woodlands, wildflower fields, and riparian areas. These paths are great for walking, jogging, or conversing with friends. The park is also home to numerous ball fields, a soccer field, and several playgrounds.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Bush’s Pasture Park has a bit of everything: open spaces, walking paths, the preserved Bush family house turned museum, and one of the oldest Victorian greenhouses on this side of the Mississippi. Kids will love the two large open grass areas and three playgrounds. Sports lovers will get a workout on the softball/baseball fields, four illuminated tennis courts, or horseshoe areas.
While it’s a little farther away from downtown than some other neighborhoods, it is an easy walk to the Oregon State Capitol building and Willamette University campus. Plus, it’s a short ride or walk to Salem Hospital and the downtown core for a meal at Amadeus, Epilogue, Rudy’s, or a pint at Venti’s. This article is worth reading.
The compact rose garden next to the Bush House Museum is a showpiece of Victorian design. It includes hybrid tea and floribunda roses, along with a picture-perfect gazebo. The roses are pruned in fall and winter to prevent damage from snow and ice.
The park and Bush House Museum were built for Asahel Bush, founder of the Oregon Statesman newspaper (later Salem’s Statesman Journal). The house is a museum with 19th-century furnishings and decor, and guided tours are available most afternoons. A conservatory on the east side of the house was claimed to be the first in the western United States.
The park also hosts a number of athletic events throughout the year, including a series of races hosted by Willamette University’s distance squad on a series of weeknights in August. Please note that car prowls do occur at the park, so please take precautions when leaving your vehicle.
Asahel Bush House Museum
Built in 1877-78 by pioneer newspaper publisher Asahel Bush, this 12-room house is the city’s best example of high Italianate architecture. The house is now the home of the Salem Art Association and features historic period rooms.
The museum has joined the movement to address the underrepresentation of artists who are female, nonbinary, and people of color. It is also taking a hard look at the legacy of Bush, who founded a newspaper and bank, was a prominent figure in Oregon politics, and supported laws that prevented Black people from living in Oregon.
The park’s paths, rose garden and the Bush House Museum are open to the public daily. In addition to these amenities, the park hosts Salem’s popular art fair every third weekend of July.
Located near the Asahel Bush House, the conservatory was built in 1882 and features original iron pieces. It is open to the public and was renovated in 2010-2011. It also houses a rose garden designed by pioneer landscape designers Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver.
The park is home to the Asahel Bush House Museum, which is operated by the City of Salem and offers a glimpse into Victorian-era Oregon. The park’s 90.5 acres include walking paths, wooded areas, and expansive meadows. There is even a historic barn and gazebo. Browse the next article.
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