Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) and Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz are pleased to announce that on March 19, 2014, Portland City Council unanimously approved the City’s acquisition of 85 acres of natural area and the Colwood Golf Course. The land will be acquired and managed through a partnership with the Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks & Recreation.
“We are proud to bring a large portion of the Colwood Golf Course and natural area into public ownership,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “It is land which represents significant environmental and recreational opportunities for the entire City of Portland.”
The property includes the golf course, along with open parkland and forested and wetland areas that protect the Columbia Slough. The City’s acquisition of the Colwood property is part of a long-term project that will reshape the existing property into the Cully neighborhood’s most important public natural area.
“As our city grows, and fills in, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to protect nature in the city,” said Environmental Services Commissioner Nick Fish. “The
acquisition of Colwood is a wonderful example of providing industrial land while preserving a watershed for future generations of Portlanders.”
PP&R will manage more than one-third of the restored land as a natural area, protecting wildlife and water quality, creating a rare opportunity for Portlanders to access nature in the heart of the city.
“This is a win-win property for the City of Portland,” said Don Goldberg, Senior Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land, the national non-profit that managed this complex deal. “We will add much-needed public open space along with natural areas in the densely-populated Cully neighborhood that generations of families will be able to enjoy.”
Significant restoration and enhancement of wetlands and forest will be undertaken by the owner of the industrial portion of the property. 48 acres at the north of the property was rezoned for commercial/industrial use in October 2013.
During the transition, as PP&R finalizes plans for the land in consultation with the local community, we will continue to operate a portion of the property as a 9-hole golf facility with other amenities. Ultimately, the aim is to give local people close-to-home access to a lifetime of outdoor recreation.
The City’s cost to acquire the entire Colwood property is $5 million:
$4.5 million of the cost comes from Portland Parks & Recreation's investment of System Development Charges (SDCs), reimbursement from golf revenue over time, and potential grants/partnerships. The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) is contributing $500,000 to the acquisition cost, as clean water is part of their mission.