Crime Prevention Coordinator Frank Silva says:
Faced with the unique challenges of being the only public high school in Downtown Portland's core,LincolnHigh Schoolmust address numerous public safety and livability issues. From drug use to found drug paraphernalia, camping, graffiti, and common encounters with people that displayed aggressive and hostile behaviors,Lincolnsought for a change that would make their school grounds a positive, pro-social environment.
One of the challenges Lincoln faced was that the actual design of the school is an open campus, being the epicenter of the Gosse Hollow Neighborhood, and being a place that has a high degree of foot traffic. Lincoln's campus has numerous access points that could possibly be problematic. Also,Lincoln's track and field is host to many school sponsored and community events bringing an influx of people to their campus.
Consequently, School Resource Officer John Clinton, and Principal Peyton Chapman and Kirsten Leonard ofLincolnHigh School, worked together with Crime Prevention to complete an extensive Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design assessment. In doing so, they eliminated problem landscaping, changed and added lighting that increase visibility, removed graffiti, picked up litter, and reconfigured a TriMet bus shelter that was causing problems for the students, faculty, and the community.
Lincolnalso started an innovative Adopt a Plot Program; in which, students, faculty, and community neighbors "adopt" a parcel of property around the school grounds where they take responsibility for the landscaping, removal of graffiti, and trash pick up on their “plot”. This unique program is a way that students, teachers, parents, and community members take an active role in the safety and livability of the school grounds.
Lincolncontinually looks for updates and new ways to make their campus a safe place for everyone who uses it. They are a model for any school or open space that wishes to encourage positive use of the property by making changes to their physical environment. Because of these significant environmental design changes, students, faculty, and the community around the High School are safer, and we commend Principal Chapman, Kirsten Leonard, and Officer Clinton for their efforts in making these changes happen.