Continuing with stories submitted by our community, our residents wanted to learn more about the history and “inspiration” behind Inspiration Garden.

Back in 2012, the Polk County Master Gardeners were looking for a space that would help them teach, create, and share in the beauty of gardening. After much searching throughout the county, they were led to Mountain Fir Park in Independence, Oregon. With the natural asset of Ash Creek as a notable amenity and over 7 acres of fertile land available, the former site of the Mt. Fir Lumber Mill emerged as the best option for their gardening pursuits. Soon after, the gardeners and other volunteers began clearing the land to make way for the destination now known as Inspiration Garden.

Led by Polk County Master Gardener Bill Leedy, the designs for the respective gardens were crafted to meet the needs and scope of the natural landscape. Since 2013, and through additional material donations made by Western Interlock, Elk Creek Lumber, and many others, the gardeners have continued to develop and maintain the southern portion of Mt. Fir Park.

“It’s amazing the support you can get when you get involved in the city—and businesses within the city—that really made it happen,” shared Bill.

With over 1,500 plant species, over 250 species of trees, and a plethora of dedicated volunteers, Inspiration Garden continues to add new life and vibrant color to our beautiful river city.

To learn more about Inspiration Garden or to volunteer, visit:

Inspiration Garden is open every day from 8 AM – 8 PM in Independence, Oregon. #independenceoregon #traveloregon #travelsalem