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PRK-3.02 - PP&R Adopt-A-Bench Program Policy and Review Procedures

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy category
Policy number
Administrative Rule Adopted by Portland Parks & Recreation Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority


The intent of this policy is to provide people with an opportunity to commemorate or honor family, friends or events in one of Portland’s parks through the adoption and financial care of a park bench. This policy works in conjunction with Portland Parks & Recreation’s Gifts & Memorials Policy.

To establish funding requirements and recognition standards for bench donations to Portland Parks & Recreation.

Organizations/Individuals Affected

Any person who donates money specifically to the Adopt-A-Bench program with PP&R.

Policy Statement

Program is henceforth recognized as the Adopt-A-Bench program. Discretion is given to the PP&R Director to make exceptions to any part of this policy.

Cost for bench adoption is based on actual cost of the bench, installation and basic maintenance. If a plaque in recognition is desired, the donor is responsible for purchasing a plaque that meets PP&R standards and requirements. Total costs are variable and are subject to change based on market cost for labor and supply and will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly at least every two years. Current costs are attached as an addendum.

The program has two options; the adoption and renovation of an existing bench within a developed Portland park or the installation of a new bench in a developed park where there is none, and a need exits. These tiers will differ in cost. Due to capacity and maintenance considerations, PP&R Natural Areas are not allowed in this program, and benches will not be added.

Bench types: PP&R existing standards will be used in the selection of a bench. Most parks use a standard bench. A few parks have more ornate benches, or modern benches that fit the park’s aesthetic. If a new bench is to be installed, it will replicate the other benches at that park. Donors cannot design their own bench, have an external vendor supply a bench or choose the style to be installed. Bench selection is at the sole discretion of PP&R.

If the bench is in memoriam, it is recommended that donors wait a year before beginning this process. It is an emotional time for families and friends and time allows for space to be planful and coordinated around these efforts.


1.  Potential donor will fill out the Adopt-A-Bench PDF form and submit to Program Coordinator.

2.  Program Coordinator will review form and contact donor within five business days.

3.  Program Coordinator will work with donor to get internal approval with appropriate staff on final park choice and location of bench. This process can take up to two weeks and may involve a site meeting with Zone Manager and/or Facilities Manager.

4.  Once location is agreed upon, donor will submit payment in full:

Portland Parks & Recreation
Adopt-A-Bench Program
1120 SW Fifth Ave. Room 1302
Portland, OR 97204

5.  Tax receipt will be sent to donor at the end of the month in which it was received.

The City of Portland is a duly incorporated municipality in the State of Oregon exempt from federal taxation pursuant to 26 USC 115(2) as a tax exempt public corporation. Contributions to the City of Portland are defined as charitable contributions pursuant to 23 USC 170(c)(1), and are deductible as provided by federal law. The City of Portland, Oregon federal tax identification number is 93-6002236.

6.  Donor will submit potential wording of plaque to Program Coordinator who will work with donor and internal staff to approve.

a)  No lifespan (birth and death) dates are allowable on plaques.

b)  Profanity, obscenities, hate speech or symbols, or otherwise inappropriate references are prohibited.

c)  Plaques written in languages other than English are welcomed.

d)  Once wording has been approved, donor is responsible for having plaque made with vendor of choice and delivered to PP&R Maintenance facility as listed below.

7.  Plaque requirements

a)  Plaque will be installed by PP&R in the concrete at base of bench.

b)  Plaque must be bronze and must include 3” brass all-thread lugs with brass nuts.

c)  Plaques must be 8” wide by 5” tall, and 3/8” thick (Backing is approx. 1/4” and letters/border are raised approx 1/8” totaling 3/8”.

d)  Plaques must be mailed or dropped off by donor at Tabor Yard:

Portland Parks & Recreation
Tabor Yard Facilities & Maintenance
Carpentry Department
6437 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97206

e)  There may be rare instances where a plaque in the cement footing would not be allowable.

Other options will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

8.  Bench Installation

a)  Once plaque is received by Facilities & Maintenance, Program Coordinator will contact donor, and timing for installation of bench will be determined by crew availability. This can take several weeks and sometimes a few months based on time of year and weather permitting.

b)  Installation will be coordinated with donor’s schedule whenever possible.

c)  Once installed, any subsequent repair or replacement of the plaque will be the responsibility of the donor.

9.  Bench Re-Adoption

a)  If a plaque is placed in recognition, the plaque will remain for the life of the bench (a minimum of ten years). After ten years, the bureau may make a bench available for re-adoption. At that time, the original donor can contact the bureau to express their desire to re-adopt. The bureau will make an effort to contact the original donor, however if a donor is unreachable, updated contact information was not provided, or the donor did not signal their desire to re-adopt by contacting the bureau, the bureau may allow for a new donor to adopt that bench and add an additional plaque. Only two plaques will be allowed to be placed in recognition for any one bench.

b)  PP&R reserves the right to re-locate, permanently move or replace with comparable a bench/plaque due to capital construction, landscape redesign or other extenuating circumstances. During the initial ten year donation period, a comparable location will be provided and PP&R staff will work with the donor to collaborate should such need arise. If it construction happens post the ten year adoption period, an attempt will be made to contact the donor, but we cannot guarantee a replacement of the bench or associated plaque. Donors are encouraged to keep all contact information up to date with PP&R.

Related Policies, Procedures & Forms


Filed for inclusion in PPD September 29, 2004.
Amended by Director of Portland Parks & Recreation November 20, 2015.

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