Parks, natural areas, playgrounds and community centers are integral to the city’s quality of life – they are places to unplug from technology, revered lands passed down from generation to generation and an important source of low-cost, healthy activity and recreation.
Over the last century, Portlanders have preserved and built our incredible parks system through a series of legacy investments. Historically, voters have committed to a bond or levy about every nine years. The last levy expired in 2009 and the last bond, passed about 19 years ago, will expire in 2015.
Below is a visual history of how our system has grown. Click the arrows on the sides to move through the years or let the graphic advance on its own.
According to a recent public opinion survey funded by the Portland Parks Foundation, nine in 10 Portlanders (91%) give positive marks to the quality of the parks, programs, playgrounds and community centers.
We know that Portlanders want to protect this Gold Medal system so we keep close track of our parks’ existing and future necessary capital repairs and safety upgrades. We know that often an early fix prevents long-term damage down the road. For instance, we know that an investment in watershed health in our natural areas now can improve water quality for generations to come.
Portland Parks & Recreation is working with our planning staff and the Portland Parks Foundation to determine the next best time to refer a bond measure to the ballot. While this bond referral won’t happen this year, we are having a conversation with Portlanders about the future of our system that includes:
- The history and importance of public investment
- Prioritizing our current assets to protect what we have and continuing our analysis to know where we will invest in the future
What do you think is the most critical capital investment Portland Parks should be making?
Please comment in the box to the right.