Karen Sue Fieguth Smith Bridge Marker
The marker is located on the Bear Creek Greenway near Ashland. The Dog Park in Ashland is accessed from Nevada Street and Almeda Drive. Park in the dog park lot and walk the Greenway towards Medford. In about half a mile the Greenway crosses Bear Creek on the Karen Sue Fieguth Smith Bridge. The marker is located on a stone on the right side of the Greenway just beyond the bridge.
This marker was installed in 2008 by the Karen and Sid DeBoer Foundation to honor Karen Smith’s 30 years of work to expand the Bear Creek Greenway from 3.5 to 18.5 miles. The DeBoers “had naming rights to some part of the Greenway due to a contribution they made”, Kira Rubenthaler, Ashland Daily Tidings, 2/23/2008
In each phase of expanding the Greenway Smith worked with “city governments, land agencies, interest groups, and foundations, engineering and environmental concerns, not to mention state and federal law on historical anthropological and botanical issues” Bill Varble, 2013 Medford Mail Tribune Supplement “Our Valley”. Smith chose this bridge to have her name because it’s on the first piece of property she helped the county buy for the Greenway, it’s in her hometown of Ashland and it has extensive engineering work to stabilize Bear Creek under the bridge.
(Full disclosure: Karen Sue and both of the DeBoers were friend of ours in High School and remain friends today.)