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Program Manager and Oversight Committee named to move forward on voter-approved park projects
(Portland, OR) –
Mary Anne Cassin has joined Portland Parks & Recreation as the bureau’s Parks Bond Program Manager. Cassin oversees the bond team and program that will deliver up to $68 million of much-needed, urgent repairs and improvements to Portland’s beloved park system. A group of four project managers, a public involvement specialist and an administrative assistant will round out the bond team in the next couple of months. Once the bonds are sold in late June or early July, the team will begin working on numerous projects all over the city.
Cassin has two degrees in Landscape Architecture, including one from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has worked with several private landscape architecture firms and taught at the University of Illinois.
“Mary Anne brings unparalleled expertise in project management, design work and logistics,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “I am excited that someone of her caliber will be leading the effort to fulfilling our promise of meeting some of the most crucial maintenance needs across our parks system, while remaining sensitive to Portlanders’ ability to pay. We will continue to work with the community throughout this process.”
Though she is the newest member of the bond team, Mary Anne is actually a familiar face around Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R). Mary Anne first joined PP&R in 1984 as a landscape architect. During her 22 year career with the bureau, she was the project manager on many notable projects including the Springwater Corridor Trail, both the North and South Park Blocks, and the 2020 Plan, in addition to dozens of neighborhood park renovations. Her role evolved over the 22 years: she not only worked on individual projects, but also did planning, policy work and program development. Mary Anne was instrumental in the Bureau’s first memorial policy, formation of the Parks Board and the Parks Foundation.
She left PP&R in 2005 to work briefly at Vancouver / Clark Parks & Recreation and then spent seven years with Metro as the Parks Planning & Development Manager. At Metro, Mary Anne oversaw the design and construction of four new nature parks. Most recently, she was a principal at PLACE, a local design firm that is contracted for work in numerous countries around the world.
When she’s not working, Mary Anne enjoys gardening, hiking and reading. She and her husband Ken Meyer have nurtured a half-acre garden in Southwest Portland over the last 26 years. Their son is currently enrolled at the US Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.
Bond oversight committee named
A Community Oversight Committee has been finalized to review the bond implementation performance, and report to Council and the community. The Oversight Committee will track progress on the bond, and ensure that bond promises are kept.
The all-volunteer committee members are:
Jonath Colón – Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Don Grotting – Superintendent, David Douglas School District
Dion Jordan – Portland Parks Board member
Karen Loper – Retired Portland Parks & Recreation Assistant Director
Zari Santner – Retired Portland Parks & Recreation Director