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Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park


Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park covers nearly 8 acres in the Centennial Neighborhood at SE 167th and Market Street, just west of Patrick Lynch Elementary School.

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Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park Project

A new playground area, pathways, benches, irrigation improvements, and other park amenities was added to Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park, thanks to funding from the Parks Replacement Bond and System Development Charges. Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park is located at SE 165th Ave and SE Market St.

A photo of the Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park playground.
Construction is now complete on the new playground and other amenities at Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park. A community celebration will be held when it is safe to hold large public gatherings.

About Verdell Burdine Rutherford

Verdell Burdine (pronounced bur-DYE-n) was born in Oklahoma in 1913 and moved with her family that same year to Oregon, who hoped to get farmland under the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909. Upon arrival, they learned that Black people were prohibited from owning free land in Oregon.

In 1936, Verdell married Otto Rutherford and settled in Portland. Together, they were leaders of the Oregon chapter of the NAACP, a national civil rights organization, and oversaw one of the NAACP’s biggest victories – the passage of the Public Accommodations Act of 1953 which outlawed discrimination in public places on the basis of race, religion, or national origin.

Rutherford was also a historian of the Black community in Portland. In 2011, a decade after Verdell’s passing, her daughter, Charlotte, gifted her historical collection to Portland State University. It remains accessible for academic research and public use as desired by Verdell.

“Mom rightfully considered herself a local historian,” said Verdell’s daughter, Charlotte Rutherford. “She was that and so very much more: a beautiful woman with a kind heart and a wonderful sense of humor; a very good cook, especially her yeast rolls; and most importantly to and for me, a loving, supportive and inspirational mother. She was a hardworking volunteer and community activist who did not seek the limelight, but she would have accepted this honor humbly, knowing that this park will provide a place for the community to gather together.”

“Our parks are more important now than ever for our community during COVID-19 by providing places for play, reflection, and relaxation,” said Portland Parks & Recreation Director Adena Long. “This new park name and its improvements create a more welcoming and much-needed community space for the Centennial neighborhood. The City thanks Portland voters for overwhelmingly approving the 2014 Parks Replacement Bond, which made this project possible. I look forward to celebrating this new gem in east Portland when we can gather safely as a community.”

About the newly developed park

Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park covers nearly 8 acres in the Centennial Neighborhood at SE 167th and Market Street, just west of Patrick Lynch Elementary School. PP&R recently completed construction on significant park improvements, thanks to funding from the 2014 Parks Replacement Bond and Parks System Development Charges. Improvements include a new playground, picnic shelter, paved pathways, a Portland Loo (expected to be open in Summer 2020), public art, and a renovated grass soccer field.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, there are restrictions and/or closures on many Portland Parks & Recreation sites. All PP&R playgrounds are closed at this time. All parks, natural areas, and trails remain open for use. Please follow ALL public health guidelines and maintain 6 feet of social distancing with other park and trail usersincluding PP&R staff who are out working. For updated information on closures and cancellations, please visit our COVID-19 Updates, Closures, and Postponements page

A community celebration at Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park will be held at a later date.

Size in acres


Year acquired

A photo of the Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park playground

Park Location or Entrance

Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park main entrance
SE 165th Avenue and Market Street
Portland, OR 97233

Open hours

Park hours: 5:00am-midnight

Past construction

News and notices

Park amenities/activities

Paths and Trails
Paths (Paved)
Soccer Field
Accessible Picnic Area
Accessible Play Area
Accessible Restroom
Statue or Public Art
Picnic Table
Picnic Shelter



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