(Portland, OR) –
Thanks to Parks System Development Charge, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is starting the long-awaited expansion of outer Southeast Portland’s Parklane Park from five acres to 25 acres. PP&R expects the project to break ground the week of April 3, 2023, and to be largely complete in the fall of 2024.
The new park will include the following amenities: playground, splash pad, basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields, community events pavilion, covered picnic areas, community garden, skate park, dog off-leash area, paved walking paths, additional restrooms, parking, public art, and hundreds of new trees.
“There is a significant lack of parks and open spaces and a shortage of recreation facilities in the Centennial neighborhood,” says Portland Culture & Livability Commissioner Dan Ryan. “Beginning the efforts to create a new 25-acre park is a significant achievement. The expanded Parklane Park will be a gem for East and Southeast Portland.”
The existing five developed acres of Parklane Park, including the playground, Portland Loo, sports field, basketball court, and other park amenities, will be closed for use until the project’s completion. The anticipated park opening date is late fall 2024, though the landscaped areas — including soccer fields and dog off-leash areas — will likely need to remain closed until the grass becomes fully established by summer 2025.
“The expanded Parklane Park will be a community centerpiece,” says PP&R Director Adena Long. “It will vastly increase recreation access for people in far Southeast Portland, many of whom are most affected by a current lack of green spaces in the area. This is an exciting project and one I’m particularly looking forward to seeing get started.”
When fully developed, Parklane Park will serve 2,682 residential units, including 706 of which currently do not have ready access to any park or natural areas. The park’s immediate neighbors to the east are Oliver Middle School and Parklane Elementary School, which have a combined enrollment of nearly 900 students ranging from kindergarten students to 8th graders.
All are welcome to join PP&R and Portland Culture & Livability Commissioner Dan Ryan for a groundbreaking celebration on Saturday, May 6, 2023, from 11 am to noon.
For more information on Parklane Park, please visit the project page at portland.gov/parks/construction/parklane-park-project
The site of Parklane Park was once used as an airfield, and then as a gravel quarry which was later filled with debris in the 1990s. When the surrounding subdivisions were built in the 1970s, the triangular five-acre parcel that is now Parklane Park became a Multnomah County park. Local residents planted many of the trees and installed red and white striped playground equipment, which gave the park its nickname “Candy Cane Park.”
In 1993, the park was transferred to Portland Parks & Recreation. In 2001, the City purchased an additional 20 acres to the north, the site of the former gravel quarry. The Parklane Park Master Plan was completed in 2009 and created a plan to guide the construction of the expansion. In 2016, a Loo was installed near the playground with 2014 Parks Replacement Bond funds. In 2018, funds were identified to begin the design process for the park’s development.
During her tenure as Parks Commissioner, Amanda Fritz launched the development of Parklane Park with $16M in SDC funds. The COVID-19 pandemic led to significant cost escalations due to inflation, labor, and supply chain issues. Because of this, Commissioner Carmen Rubio approved an additional $13.7M in SDC fund during her oversight of the Parks Bureau, for a total of $29.7M funding. This will allow for the completion of nearly all elements identified in the 2009 Master Plan (except for the aquatic center).
SDC funds, the funding source for this project, are not tax dollars. They are one-time fees assessed on new development and can only be used for new park developments, not maintenance. SDC funds help ensure that Portland's quality of life keeps pace with our growing and changing city by providing the additional park and recreation facilities needed to accommodate growth.
The community’s role
Portlanders have been instrumental in shaping the design for Parklane Park through a project advisory committee and a series of community gatherings between Fall 2019 and Summer 2020. Through the process, community members representing the Centennial Community Association, Centennial School District, Rosewood Initiative, Camp ELSO, Native American Community Advisory Committee, PDX Skate Like a Girl, Guerrera Latinas, Rockwood Boys & Girls Club, and many park neighbors participated in meetings and online surveys that shaped the park’s design to ensure it would reflect this diverse neighborhood today and for generations to come. The design is better because of this investment of time by the community.
PP&R deeply appreciates the contributions of the project advisory committee members who volunteered their time and expertise during the design process: Asia Saechao, Benjamin Lostheart, Courteland Benson, Dasha Foerster, Jeb Hubbs, Jonathan Cruz, Kit Becker, Matt Wood, Mercedes Herrada, Riley Renner, Ron Clemenson, Roxie Sprick, Sabrina Wilson, Selenny Santiago, Sogene Mah, Terence Stilin-Rooney.