Who We Are

On this page:
Our Vision
History of the Park
Our Staff
Board of Directors

Our Vision

Since 1962, Hull Park and Retreat Center for the Blind and Low Vision has been dedicated to providing a special place for persons with blindness or low vision and their friends to get away for a day, week-end or week for an exceptional experience. We provide year-round educational, recreational and social opportunities for those with blindness or low vision.

Our philosophy is that every individual has a tremendous amount of potential, therefore we strive to be a place where blind and low vision individuals can enjoy complete independence, relax in a beautiful environment, develop new skills, foster lifelong friendships and even test their limits.

History of the Park

 

Mid-century black and white photo of the individuals that first dreamed of the Park: Oliver Sassy, Jim Chase, Dave Starks, Oral Hull, George Howeiler, Pete Zandell, Fred Carlson & Jerry James

When Oral and Albert Hull met in the 1950’s with Justice of the Peace George Howeiler of Sandy, it was estimated that about 3,000 blind people lived in Oregon. The couple, with no heirs of their own, decided they needed to find someone to leave their 22 acre farm to after they passed on.

Judge Howeiler, who lost his eyesight from a blasting cap accident when he was 15, shared his dream with the Hull’s of developing a retreat center for blind persons. This dream became a reality in 1962 and with the help of supporters such as the Gresham Elks Club, Lions Clubs and Kiwanis Clubs, along with local business people the development of Oral Hull Park started.

Our Facilities

An arial view of Hull Park with the lodge and dorm building in the forefront and a field and trees in the distance.

Hull Park is located just outside of Sandy, Oregon at the foot of the Cascade Mountain Range and Mount Hood. Our 22 acre campus is a beautiful setting along the Sandy River. Check out our photo tour and see our amenities, which  include:

  • The Rainbow Lodge, where delicious meals are served. Guests also enjoy relaxing around the stone fireplace, playing piano, or enjoying books, games and computer technology in our library.
  • The Dormitory includes comfortable semiprivate rooms and shared bathroom facilities, a lounge, kitchenette and hot tub.
  • The indoor heated swimming pool.
  • Morgan Hall with foose ball, air hockey, billiards and other games is a great place to socialize and have a friendly competition
  • The beautiful Gardens of Enchantment designed for all the senses. Guest can relax in the gazebo, listen to the fountains, touch sculptures and read print and braille signs while enjoying the fragrant plants and flowers. Easy access with paved walking paths.
  • The Picnic Pavillion is a great place for picnics and to relax and do crafts. It can accommodate up to 120 people.
  • The fire pit is a popular place to roast s’mores and sing camp songs.
  • The outdoor game area includes bocce ball, horseshoes, and swings for kids.
  • The stocked fish pond has fishing poles ready to go for those who want to catch a bite.
  • There are also many paved and unpaved hiking paths to take a stroll around the property.

Take a photo tour of the park.

Our Staff

Sharon Elder, Executive Director
Larry Bryant, Park Host
Julie Wright, Seminar facilitator and Certified Braillist
Jennifer Jarrett, Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator
Adam Grishman, Rental Coordinator and Retreat Staff

…and many dedicated volunteers make the park run smoothly!

Board of Directors

Tom Ciesielski, President
Edwina Swart, Secretary
Don Jageman, Treasurer
Mary Lee Turner, Immediate Past President
Mike Yamada
John Drum
Robin Herrington
Mary Hankins
Trevor Attenberg
Carolyn Olley
Carrie Muth
Clark Hofmann