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Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz joined neighbors, partners and special guests tonight to reveal the name of the first developed park in the Cully neighborhood. The future 2.4 acre Portland Parks & Recreation park, now being built at NE 52nd Ave. and Alberta, will be called Kʰunamokwst Park (pronounced KAHN-ah-mockst - click to hear the full pronunciation). Kʰunamokwst is a Chinook wawa name meaning “together”. Kʰunamokwst will be the first PP&R park to enjoy a name indigenous to the land it sits on.
“Chinook wawa is the language commonly used by the original people of this area,” says Commissioner Fritz. “The name fits well with our goal of a name that invokes a sense of community and unity. ‘Kʰunamokwst’ reflects the community’s – and Portland Parks & Recreation’s - values of inclusion, diversity, and fun for all ages.”
“Kʰunamokwst means ‘together’,” notes Jon A. George, Tribal Councilman from the Grand Ronde Tribal Council. “And that is what this beautiful green space will enable all of us to do, to come together to honor the original people of this place, the Clackamas and Multnomah people - our ancestors. It is a name that honors the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, the Willamette Valley Treaty Tribe, and it is a name that honors our community of Portland. Together we will enjoy the beauty and protect the health of this place, just as our ancestors did.”
Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has begun construction on park, with completion expected in the spring of 2015. The new park will serve 1488 families who currently do not have access to a park or natural area (defined as a half-mile walk).
Fritz adds that she is proud to continue former Park Commissioner Nick Fish’s work to provide the newest neighborhood park in a park-deficient area, one being built with strong community support and extensive neighborhood involvement. She was joined at tonight’s community celebration by members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Commissioner Fish, PP&R Director Mike Abbaté, a consultant team led by Greenworks PC, Cully Association of Neighbors (CAN), Hacienda CDC, and other partners, neighbors and PP&R staff.
Throughout Kʰunamokwst Park’s planning and design process, care has been taken to include the whole community. Portland Parks & Recreation worked to have Spanish-language translators at open houses, committee meetings, and all other occasions. All park-related documents were translated into Spanish in order to remove longstanding barriers to participation. Planning for the park began in February, 2012, with a 12-member advisory committee. This included focus groups in partnership with the Ortiz Center and Rigler SUN School. Most recently, Hacienda CDC Expresiones worked to involve kids from under-represented communities in designing some of the exciting park features. Verde and Greenworks, PC, have participated extensively with these endeavors as well.
The new Kʰunamokwst Park will be 2.4 acres in size.
1488 families who currently do not have access to a park or natural area (defined as a half-mile walk) will be served by Kʰunamokwst Park.
The Kʰunamokwst project cost is approx. $2.5 million, paid for via SDCs (System Development Charges). SDCs are fees paid by developers to support the increased infrastructure required when homes and businesses are built. PP&R purchased the property – almost two and a half acres - in 2009 to help fulfill the need for park and open space within the Cully Neighborhood. This will be the first developed park in the Cully Neighborhood, an area noted to be park-deficient. With construction beginning now, Portland Parks & Recreation expects it to be ready for play in spring 2015.
Kʰunamokwst Park features include:
A traditional children’s’ playground AND
An innovative “nature play” area with boulders to climb on, a slide on a hillside
Water feature – an interactive water play area
Paths for walking and jogging
A large open lawn
Portland Loo (restroom)
Skate dot – small skateboard park with kids and beginners in mind
New sidewalks (thanks to the Portland Bureau of Transportation)
Rain garden – where rain water drains
Kʰunamokwst PARK - PROJECT BACKGROUND
The Cully Neighborhood is home to more than 13,000 residents. Cully is a culturally diverse urban neighborhood with a mix of commercial and relatively dense residential development. The northern edge of the neighborhood is the Columbia Slough with its associated lakes and slough extensions. Generally the northern portion of the neighborhood is industrial with a few commercial uses and older homes. The central and southern portions of the neighborhood are residential, with small pockets of commercial development. The major open space landmarks are the 68+ acre Rose City cemetery, Thomas Cully Park, Whitaker Ponds Natural Area, and Colwood Golf Course. The commercial center of the neighborhood is at the intersection of NE Cully, NE 60, and NE Prescott. This five-way intersection is a commercial node with a grocery store and other commercial businesses (1992 Cully Neighborhood Plan).
The Werbin Property Master Plan was a collaborative effort between Portland Parks & Recreation, the Cully community, and the Project Advisory Committee. The plan is a vision for the project site and a framework to guide the preparation of detailed design documents for the development of the park. Given the amount of public outreach that has occurred on the project as well as acceptance of the master plan by City Council, PP&R will not entertain alternative design concepts. Any significant change in design will require written approval from the Owner’s Representative and substantive changes will necessitate public information meeting(s) per the direction of the PP&R Project Manager.