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Extensive improvements begin at Leach Botanical Garden

News Article
Completion expected in summer 2020; project creates a new regional destination in East Portland
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 Image removed.

City staff, elected officials, and partners celebrated the groundbreaking of the major expansion and enhancements at Leach Botanical Garden. The photo, from August 1, 2019, is courtesy of Portland Parks & Recreation.

(Portland, OR) – 

The Leach Botanical Garden is beginning a major improvement project to greatly enhance the iconic east Portland destination. Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), Prosper Portland, and Metro joined Leach Botanical Garden staff and supporters at a groundbreaking for the garden expansion and improvements. The project is expected to be complete in summer 2020 and will include: 

  • A pollinator meadow and gathering space
  • A fireplace terrace
  • An aerial tree walk
  • A new central pathway between the Manor House and Upper Garden
  • Enhanced woodland plantings
  • A new pathway leading from SE Claybourne down to the 122nd St. bridge
  • Parking
  • A new entrance at SE Claybourne

Image removed.

Project rendering is courtesy of PP&R, Land Morphology, and Olson Kundig

“Leach Botanical Garden is East Portland’s hidden gem – for now. But thanks to this new investment, it won’t be hidden much longer,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. “This is a milestone for Leach and East Portland. Thanks to our partners and the many public and private donors who have contributed to this project.”

Portland Parks & Recreation and the Leach Garden Friends partnered on the Leach Botanical Garden master plan, the culmination of five years of planning and design. Construction will begin on Monday, August 4, 2019, and is expected to be complete in summer 2020.

The Leach Garden Friends raised over $1.26 million in private donations to contribute toward the project. Other funding included $6.5 million in Parks System Development Charges (fees developers pay on new construction), $2 million from Prosper Portland, and a $188,000 grant from Metro.

“Leach is so unique,” says PP&R Director Adena Long. “And with such robust private fundraising leveraging City and partner funding, we are seeing grass-roots support helping to create a world-class botanical treasure. It will be an urban sanctuary, a place for reflection, science, and recreation.”

Pharmacist John Leach and botanist Lilla Leach donated their prized garden to the City in their will. In 1981, then-Parks Commissioner Charles Jordan saved the property from being sold. The Manor House and gardens were preserved for, and continue to serve, all Portlanders and visitors. Now Leach is moving forward to its next chapter, creating and expanding spectacular opportunities to connect with nature for education, culture, gatherings, and recreation.

The enhancements at Leach Botanical Garden build on recent and ongoing efforts by Portland Parks & Recreation to construct parks in historically under-served east Portland.

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Leach Botanical Garden

Public Garden
Park Location or Entrance
6704 SE 122nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97236