On February 2nd, 2018 the Hillsboro, Oregon community lost one its greatest champions. Bonnie Kooken
passed away at age 81 and was a vibrant person who gave of herself in so many ways.
Her work in the historic district of Orenco (OR)
will be remembered forever and through her leadership of the Orenco Neighborhood Organization (ONO) many generations of people to come will enjoy the many unique features of this most special neighborhood.
Because of Bonnie and her 50-year quest to preserve the 1909 Historic Town the citizens now enjoy ancient Elms lining the streets, historic older structures, and special designs of the newer buildings. Her persistence in planning and zoning matters are legendary and she enjoyed many wins along with her neighbors.
The greatest of those wins was the creation of the Orenco Woods Nature Park
which is now open on the historic Estate of the Oregon Nursery Company (ORENCO) town founder, Malcolm McDonald
. The property was slated for 350 homes and Bonnie along with ONO dug in and fought an expensive and difficult battle. Over about 7 years the battle waged on with hearings and many twists and turns. Through the efforts of many people playing the role of spokes, with Bonnie acting as the hub of the wheel, the victory was won. The park stands as perhaps the finest preserved estates in Washington County and one of the most significant and important nature parks in the State of Oregon.
Bonnie was loved, respected, fun, persistent, tough when needed, and a lover of all things in life. She leaves her family behind including her daughters who will continue the traditions and live in the Orenco community. Bonnie was also an avid historian, activist, and she was the Chair of the Hillsboro Landmarks Advisory Committee.Read More About Bonnie Here
Bonnie was so proud of the Orenco Woods Park and at the grand-opening, she stopped to reflect on a bench erected for another great local historian and woman, Joan Krahmer. Bonnie told us "maybe they will get me a bench someday".
The answer Bonnie is "YES". We will.
Your contributions to this fund, A Bench For Bonnie, will go 100% to the creation of a wooden bench and proper plaque which will have her name commemorated on it forever.
We need your help and any money raised over our Goal will be spent on purchasing Orenco Apple Trees and Elm Trees to plant in and around the Orenco Historic Townsite!
Watch a short Drone Video of the Park and you will see one of the many things Bonnie has done to make the world a better place! She is the perfect example of why Hillsboro and the town of Old Orenco is so very special!
We love you, Bonnie. RIP friend.Bonnie Kooken Memorial Page