In November 2019, voters across the three-county area approved Metro's Regional Parks and Nature Bond measure. This gave Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) access to local funding of nearly $32 million. After that vote, Portland Parks & Recreation developed a list of potential projects to meet Metro’s eligibility criteria and reflect prior community engagement. The Metro bond requires projects to:
- Serve people of color, indigenous people, people with low incomes, people with varying abilities, and other groups that have not benefited equitably from past investments.
- Make the region more resilient to climate change.
- Protect and restore habitat and clean water.
- Make major investments at parks and trails that connect people to nature close to home.
In November 2021, PP&R asked for the community's priorities for funding, through a series of eight focus group meetings with specific cultural/language communities and an online survey in English and Spanish. Using this input, PP&R now has a final project list that is within the $31.8 million allocation of the Local Share. This list will next be approved by Portland City Council and Metro.
PP&R use of Local Share funds
We’ll use this funding to:
- Take care of what we already have by making significant repairs.
- Make some new investments at existing sites.
- Some funds will go to neighborhood parks. Some funds may improve sites that have unique access to nature. Some funds will go to projects with locations spread across the city.
- Local Share funding cannot be used to build new play structures or ball fields. It also cannot be used for community center programs or staff.
Metro Local Share Proposed Project List for City Council and Metro approval in Spring 2022
|Single Site Projects||Description||Allocation|
|Columbia Boulevard Crossing||Build a new pedestrian bridge in Chimney Park and along the existing Peninsula Crossing Trail to provide access to the future Metro park site and trail at St. Johns Prairie||$3M|
|Forest Park Renovations||Provide safe access to nature and improve emergency response access in Forest Park by making trail and fire lane access improvements with a focus on safety and accessibility. Work to include renovations to culverts, bridges, and trailheads.||$2M|
|Hoyt Arboretum, Bristlecone Pine Trail Renovations||Renovate the existing trail and parking area to provide safe, barrier-free ADA access, partnering with Hoyt Arboretum Friends.||$3M|
|Rose City Golf Course: New Trail||Improve nature access at Rose City Golf Course with a new walking loop around the perimeter of the course. Provide free to use physical activity space with access to trees and open space.||$2M|
|Wilkes Headwaters Property||Develop a master plan for the 20-acre natural area hybrid park at the headwaters of Wilkes Creek. Renovate portions of the site to provide habitat restoration and new trails in the natural areas to address a natural area level of service gap. With separate funding, construct approximately 5-acres of the property as a neighborhood park to address a developed park level of service gap.||$4M|
|Multiple Location Projects (Locations TBD)||Description||Allocation|
|ADA and Path Renovations||Make ADA improvements at up to eight developed parks to provide increased access to nature. Prioritization for sites with high equity scores, transition plan scores, and known level of service gaps.||$3M|
|Existing Lighting Conversion||Convert existing park pathway lighting at up to 30 parks to provide standardized LED for energy efficiency while meeting City of Portland bird-friendly and climate action goals.||$2M|
|Natural Areas Access, Pathways, and Sign Renovations||Renovate and provide new improvements to boardwalks and trails, make ecological restoration improvements, address ADA issues, and provide new signs.||$3.5M|
|Neighborhood Parks Restroom Roof Renovations||Renovate deteriorating park restroom roofs at up to 5 parks with a focus on sites with high equity scores. Work may address additional site-specific issues such as ADA, site furnishings, and plumbing needs.||$2.25M|
|Trail Bridge Replacements||Repair or replace up to 8 trail bridges throughout the system.||$2.75M|
PP&R Local Share Proposed Project Map - May 2022
How the community has been involved
In the fall of 2021, we reached out to Portlanders through an online survey and focus group-style conversations with communities of color and others that have not benefited equitably from past public investments. This input helped us prioritize what to fund now to meet our community’s needs — and what to save for future funding. If a project on our current list is not funded through this bond, the opportunity doesn’t disappear. It may be eligible for different funding in the future.
What did we hear?
In the focus groups, safety and lighting were the top themes:
- Every group mentioned safety as a major priority – this included better lighting and feeling like a park is cared for and clean. Well maintained, accessible and clean restrooms were also a big priority for participants.
- Better accessibility for people with disabilities and families using strollers was also a high priority across the groups.
- An appreciation for restoration and conservation were shared themes across the groups.
- Many noted that having nature accessible close to where they live is important.
Overall, participants in the online survey said that:
- Better trails, parking, and habitat restoration were their top priorities.
- English survey participants shared concerns about issues related to the houseless, safety, and cleanliness.
- Spanish survey participants shared concerns about safety and more accessible, better maintained parks.
River access and boating was a low priority across the online survey and the focus groups. Trails and other ways to access nature without special equipment were preferred.
Read more about the community's priorities:
The project list was approved by Portland City Council on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Next, PP&R will finalize an intergovernmental agreement with Metro and submit application materials for each proposed project.
Then, we will engage the community as we begin each project on the funded list. Each project will have community engagement opportunities, particularly those projects with extensive design processes. We will keep the community updated through community meetings, webpage updates, email, and social media updates as each project moves from design to construction to opening.
- Metro Parks and Nature Bond
- Metro Local Share
- Metro Local Share Handbook
- Metro Local Share Project Proposal and Approval Process Map
Portland Parks & Recreation