Woman on mountain bike riding on a path on a sunny day with trees and mountains in the background

Willamalane Unveils the Peter DeFazio Trail System at Thurston Hills Natural Area

Trail system dedicated on Dec. 7, 2023

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Willamalane Park and Recreation District revealed the Peter DeFazio Trail System at Thurston Hills Natural Area at a dedication ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 7, at the north trailhead of the trail system. This unveiling celebrates the naming of a community recreational asset and pays tribute to Congressman Peter DeFazio's unwavering commitment to community well-being and environmental stewardship.

Michael Wargo, Willamalane Executive Director, emphasized the more profound significance: "This unveiling is a testament to Congressman DeFazio's tireless efforts for Thurston Hills. It's more than acknowledging his name; it's a tribute to our shared commitment to preserving Springfield’s natural areas while providing public recreational access for our community."

Congressman DeFazio was a pivotal supporter in Willamalane's acquisition of the property, now known as Thurston Hills Natural Area. His support has been instrumental in various projects within the natural area, encompassing trail development, wildfire mitigation, and habitat restoration initiatives.

The Peter DeFazio Trail System stands as a living testament to the collaborative efforts of Willamalane and Congressman DeFazio, offering the community an enduring space to connect with nature and enjoy the benefits of a well-preserved natural environment.

About Thurston Hills Natural Area: 

Thurston Hills Natural Area, located at 7575 McKenzie Highway in east Springfield, provides 665 acres for recreation and habitat restoration. Opened in 2017, it features over 12 miles of trails, creating an expanding trail system for hikers, mountain bikers, and nature enthusiasts.