Bonesteele Park is located on Aumsville Highway between Salem and Aumsville. This site, formerly part of a commercial grass field, is being restored to an upland prairie ecosystem, and is part of the Natural Heritage Parks Program.
Upland prairie ecosystems, once common in the Willamette Valley, have become increasingly rare as have the plants and animals that rely on them. The restoration of Bonesteele Park is intended to bring back a landscape that will increase biodiversity, enhance wildlife habitat, and provide an educational and recreational resource for area residents. Dogs are allowed at Bonesteele Park but must be kept on a leash.
"I rode through the entire upper settlement of
the East of the Willamette [Waldo Hills] and
was highly pleased with the beautiful variety
of hill and valley so softly varied and intermingled
with hill and dale as Likewise timber and Prairie
all luxuriantly clothed in a rich and heavy coat
of vegetation and literally clothed in Flowers
the uplands in yellow and the valleys in purple.
The Quantity of small flowering vegetables is very remarkable and beyond all conception."
James Clyman 1846