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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589

Email: nick@portlandoregon.gov

1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

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Fun Day at Peninsula Pool!

Come enjoy family fun at Portland Parks & Recreation's Peninsula Pool in North Portland

July 6, 2010

Come out to Peninsula Pool tomorrow for a special event for the whole family! Enjoy great music, games, prizes, and the chance to meet Wader the Gator, Parks' mascot!

Peninsula Park is located at 700 N Rosa Parks Way - call (503) 823-3677 with questions.

Right: Nick with Wader at the opening of the East Portland Community Center pool last spring

Taking on child hunger

Commissioner Nick Fish and Portland Parks & Recreation are working hard to make sure no child is hungry this summer

 July 6, 2010

In this economy, more communities than ever before face the crisis of hunger. The state of Oregon consistently ranks in the top five nationally for hunger, and cities and towns across the state are facing unprecedented needs with shrinking resources. The Oregon Food Bank reports that during the 2008-09 fiscal year, more than 240,000 people ate meals from emergency food boxes each month, an increase of 20% from the previous year. Children are among the hardest hit by hunger, and are especially vulnerable during the summer months, when as few as 25% of students on free or reduced-price lunch have help finding healthy food options.

As Commissioner-in-Charge of Portland Parks & Recreation, Commissioner Fish has prioritized this community health issue. "Parks' motto is 'Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland'," he told reporter Jennifer Willis for a story in last month's Lund Report. "We're working hard to take that commitment to the next level," he said, by introducing the Healthy Portland Initiative, which puts a community health lens on Parks programs and services, with a major emphasis on healthy eating. A number of programs on several fronts are already underway.

This summer, Parks is offering the Summer Playground Program at sites across Portland as part of the Summer Free for All. Beyond supervised recreation, these sites will provide free lunches to kids every weekday until the end of the summer. David Sarasohn reports that more than 250 kids showed up to Peninsula Park last week for fun, games, and free lunch. 

Parks is also working with the Oregon Hunger Task Force and Portland Public Schools to run a pilot program at St. Johns Community Center to provide free meals to kids enrolled in after-school programs.

To help address the growing need for healthy, locally-grown food, Commissioner Fish is leading a process to greatly expand Parks' Community Garden program. That initiative will add 1,000 new plots by 2012, helping more folks than ever before access opportunities to grow their own food.

David Sarasohn writes that last week the US House Education & Labor Committee opened hearings on the five-year reauthorization of federal child hunger programs. He quotes Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who emphasized the importance of summer programs to combat hunger and called on the USDA to work with "local governments, nonprofit organizations and community groups...to encourage more schools, community centers and organizations to offer summer meals and for more days." Here in Portland, we are working to bring healthy lunches to any child who needs them, all summer.

By taking a close look at our parks system and thinking creatively, Nick and the Parks team are working to make the healthy choice the easy choice for Portlanders, during the summer and beyond.

Protecting the crown jewel of our parks system

Commissioner Nick Fish and Portland Parks & Recreation are committed to a long-term strategy to protect and preserve Forest Park

July 7, 2010

"Portlanders are rightly concerned about Forest Park," Nick said in a press release last month. The park faces a number of risks and there is significant work to be done to preserve the park's natural habitat and address the funding and recreation pressures noted in a recent City Club report.

In today's Oregonian, Anna Griffin calls Forest Park "easy to overlook, despite its prominent place in the city's skyline," and writes that it's "counterintuitive to think that the wild needs protecting."

And yet, it does. Recreational users, off-leash dogs, and invasive species all threaten the integrity of this 5,000-acre natural area John Charles Olmsted urged the City to purchase and preserve as a park in 1903.

Last month, Nick announced five new management initiatives for the park. By September, Portland Parks & Recreation will:

- Finalize a Partnership Agreement with the Forest Park Conservancy

- Deliver the final Forest Park Desired Future Conditions report

- Hire and assign a full-time Ranger to the park

- Finish the Forest Park Recreation Survey

- Add a City Club Forest Park Research Committee member to the 2011-12 Parks Budget Advisory Committee

Together, these initiatives form the basis of a long-term strategy to protect and preserve the park.

Equity Council presents: Institutional Racism

Join the City of Portland's Equity Council tomorrow for a presentation on Institutional Racism with Portland State University Professor Jack C. Straton

July 7, 2010

Tomorrow at noon, the City of Portland's Equity Council will present "Institutional Racism," a workshop facilitated by PSU Professor Jack C. Straton.

Straton, a nationally-known leader in race and gender issues, will guide participants beyond the idea that racism equals interpersonal injustice to an understanding of the institutional forces at work. An understanding of institutional racism is key to understanding why people of color in our community do not experience a culture free from racism.

Join us in the Auditorium of the Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th, from noon to 1:00 pm. For more information on this and other work of the Equity Council, call Ruth Lane at (503) 823-5001.