Mt. Fir Park is located off of F Street between 7th and 9th Street. The 7 acre park borders the South Fork of Ash Creek and has an additional entrance from G Street. The city has paved the main path of the Inspiration Garden, making the gardens accessible to all. Along the way visitors may use other paths to examine plants more closely, enjoy the beauty of the surroundings along the creek from benches placed throughout, watch for birds, converse with the Master Gardeners often at work there, or just pass through for exercise.
Dogs on leash are welcome. One garden is designed for children who can play, explore, and pick up a book from the little book house. Throughout there are specimen trees, pollinator-attracting plants, a re-creation oak savannah, Asian garden, roses, fruit trees, vegetables, and more.
The newest installation is the Peace Garden just north of the G Street entrance. It was designed around a special ginkgo tree that was grown from seed that survived the bombing of Hiroshima. Independence was one of several cities in Oregon chosen to receive a tree.
Originally, the Mt. Fir Park land was part of the Mt. Fir Lumber Mill, but the land was donated to the city in the early 90’s when the mill downsized its operations.
The Inspiration Garden is a project of the Polk County chapter of OSU Master Gardeners. Since 2013 members have developed and maintained the southern portion of Mt. Fir Park to comprise a series of garden areas that serve to beautify the area and educate visitors in compliance with the Master Gardener mission. Before reaching this level of achievement, several acres of neglected and overgrown land had to be cleared, modified with topsoil, planned, planted, and irrigated.