Last weekend, the 38-day occupation of Chapman and Lownsdale Squares ended peacefully. We now begin the hard work of repairing and restoring the squares to their original beauty. Preliminary assessment puts the damage at between $50,000 and $100,000.
I've heard from many people who want to help with this effort. They have offered their time, and asked where they can donate funds to support the restoration effort.
The Portland Parks Foundation has established the "Restore Our Historic Squares Fund" to collect donations. I encourage you to donate what you can. For information on helping out at a work party in the squares or elsewhere, click here.
I'm very proud of my Parks team and our Police Bureau, as well as our non-profit service providers, for their collective efforts to ensure a peaceful transition out of Chapman and Lownsdale Squares. In a challenging situation, they showcased the best of our city, performing with professionalism, kindness, and respect.
I recognize that there are wide-ranging and divergent views about the Occupy Portland movement and the weekend's events. Moving forward, my hope is that the core issues raised by the Occupy movement continue to drive our national debate.