Portland Parks & Recreation’s commitment to sustainability continues

News Article
A photo of Parks staff monitoring energy efficiency.
Energy and water efficiencies implemented at nine park sites
In this article

(Portland, OR) –

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has begun new energy and water efficiency upgrades at nine city parks and community centers, including North Portland’s Delta Park and five parks east of I-205. PP&R is installing new LED lighting to pathways and building interiors and exteriors, improving the output of irrigation systems and their control systems, and retrofitting water fixtures along with other enhancements. Specific sites and improvements are listed below. 

Image removed.

PP&R crews survey equipment at PP&R's Matt Dishman Community Center. Portland Parks & Recreation continues to make effective and tangible steps toward even greater energy conservation and more efficient, lower-maintenance infrastructure.

In addition to advancing the City’s and PP&R’s shared environmental goals, these improvements will save Parks $45,000 per year in utility costs and reduce the maintenance liability by over $100,000 annually. Project planning continues, and physical improvements are expected to begin this Spring. 

“We are proud to have begun this important work to save energy and to benefit our environment,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Adena Long. “It’s the realization of a goal we outlined in our Strategic Plan, and is a team effort. We expect to enjoy lower utility costs than they would otherwise be, need less recurring maintenance, and to serve as a model for other City bureaus as they consider similar efforts in conservation and efficiency.” 

City Council unanimously authorized PP&R to take this win-win approach in March of 2017, under the leadership of Commissioner Nick Fish. This pilot project builds on PP&R’s legacy of energy, environmental, and equity goals. 

Specific benefits anticipated in the project include:

  • Lower utility costs and less overall maintenance
  • Higher-efficiency systems with greater reliability
  • Bird-safe exterior lighting fixtures that reduce light pollution
  • Water-saving upgrades for irrigation systems and splash pads 

While the initial phase of the project involves upgrading nine locations in the PP&R system (listed below), eventually PP&R would like to scale this kind of investment to the more than 140 locations where such work is feasible. Such a step would help make significant progress supporting PP&R’s Financial Sustainability goals and on the Mayor’s priorities around combatting climate change. 

“This pilot sustainability project supports the larger vision and would not have happened without the innovative efforts of our dedicated PP&R staff, supporting procurement team, and the energy services industry,” adds PP&R Director Long. I applaud our creative, committed staff and their ongoing work to ensure a greener future for Portlanders, of both current and future generations.” 

PP&R thanks all the bureau staff involved, plus the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, Procurement, Attorney’s Office and all other City partners for their contributions in planning the effort. 

Specific project sites and improvements 

Bloomington Park
  • LEDs (pathways, exterior, interior)
  • Pathway lighting fault-detection
  • Irrigation system improvements
  • Splash pad controls
Ed Benedict Park
Raymond Park
Ventura Park
Knott Park
Brentwood Park
Kenton Park
East Delta Park
  • Replace well pump
Montavilla Community Center
  • New boiler
  • Variable frequency drive pool pump
  • LEDs - interior and exterior
  • Water fixture retrofits


Portland Parks & Recreation is making a significant contribution towards the City’s commitment to using 100% renewable energy by 2050. This mark was established by a unanimous City Council vote in 2017, and Portland’s elected officials continue to recognize the importance energy efficiency plays in reaching that achievement.

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