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Guest Author | 02/05/2024 | Historic Places, Historical Tours, History, Nature Walks/Trails, Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Gardens

Explore Corvallis: Heritage Trees and Rose Gardens

Explore Corvallis' natural beauty by touring our Heritage Trees or discovering the gorgeous rose garden in Avery Park, using interactive online maps provided by the City of Corvallis.

OSU Oregon White Oak at Magruder Hall in Corvallis, OregonA large Oregon White Oak spreads its branches by Magruder Hall at Oregon State University. Photo courtesy the City of Corvallis.

Among the many natural resources in the City of Corvallis perhaps none is as ubiquitous and beloved as the city’s urban forest. The most stunning examples of that population are on display for everyone to find and appreciate via an interactive map.

The Heritage Trees story map was created by the city’s Geographic Information Systems team using data gathered by the Urban Forestry crew. The map features some of the city’s Heritage Trees, described as “living resources” that contribute to a sense of place and showcase the values of the entire community.

“The Heritage Tree program was developed to honor these exceptional trees,” said former Parks and Recreation Director Karen Emery. “Whether it’s the tree’s size, historical significance, landmark qualities or age.”

Details about each tree, including its notable history and connection to the community, are included next to each map entry. Some, such as the 340-year-old white oak near Oregon State University’s Magruder Hall, stand today as silent witnesses to the passing of time. Others, such as the black cottonwood at Crystal Lake Park, serve as important touchstones in the history of the region.

The map is designed to serve as a living archive of these celebrated trees. Most of the trees on the map are located near the OSU campus and city’s downtown district, making it easy to plan an afternoon tour.

“Showcasing these trees in an interactive map is one of the ways we can help tell the story of the city’s natural resources,” said GIS Analyst Kevin Loso. “We’re excited to see what else we can do with data-driven maps.”

The Heritage Trees program is managed by the Parks and Recreation Department with the support of a nine-member citizens panel. Community members interested in nominating a tree can fill out an application form and submit it to the Parks and Recreation office at 1310 SW Avery Park Drive.

For more information on the city’s urban forest, visit

Corvallis Rose Garden at Avery Park - Yellow, peach, and pink roses climb over an iron trellis at the Corvallis Rose GardenYellow roses climb over an iron trellis at the Corvallis Rose Garden in Avery Park. Photo by Reed Lane Photography.

Summer in Corvallis isn’t complete without a visit to the rose garden in Avery Park. Visitors can discover more about the roses as they explore, using an interactive online map that showcases the beauty and variety of roses on display in the garden, with pinpoint accuracy.

Using GIS data, the web-based map displays key information on each of the approximately 1,200 individual rose bushes in the park. Visitors to the rose garden can access the map on their mobile device. Each rose bush is represented by an individual flower icon, which displays information about the particular rose at that location, including its variety, type, and color.

The rose map was a collaborative project between the City’s Information Technology Department and the Parks and Recreation Department. GIS mapping specialists used volumes of data gathered by parks staff – including hand-drawn maps of the original flower beds – to create a digital, mobile-friendly reference tool that adds richness and context to the rose garden experience.

“This has been a great project, and a wonderful opportunity for these two City departments to work together on a really innovative tool that the public will enjoy,” said Parks Operations Specialist America McMillin, who manages the rose garden in Avery Park.

The rose garden was originally created in 1955, and nurtured for decades by the all-volunteer Corvallis Rose Society. For decades, volunteers tended to the beds, and their fundraising efforts helped create some of the landscaping features that adorn the garden today. Over the years, new types of rose were introduced until the garden reached its current size, with more than 250 distinct varieties.

The garden begins blooming in May and typically reaches peak bloom in June, with some varieties blooming into October. Over the last 75 years, countless thousands of visitors have enjoyed the award-winning roses on display at Avery Park. Anyone who is interested in volunteering in the garden is encouraged to contact Steve McGettigan at 541-754-1739 or by email.

The Corvallis Rose Garden Map is available online at

Article by the City of Corvallis. Keep up with Corvallis news, events and happenings by signing up for our email newsletter.

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