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1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
First Developed Park in Cully Neighborhood; Grand Opening Celebration open to all on May 16
(Portland, OR) –
Kʰunamokwst Park, the newest Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) park and the first developed park in the diverse Cully neighborhood, will open on Friday, April 24. The 2.4 acre park at NE 52nd Ave. and Alberta will be the first PP&R park to enjoy a name indigenous to the land it sits on. Kʰunamokwst (pronounced KAHN-ah-mockst) is a Chinook wawa name meaning “together”. Hear the pronunciation on the attached wave file.
“Opening Kʰunamokwst Park brings us one step closer to bringing the kind of access to parks that our Cully neighbors deserve,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “The name invokes a sense of community and unity; our values of inclusion, equity, and fun for all ages. And looking at this beautiful new park, it’s easy to imagine generations of Portlanders having fun together here.”
The new Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) park will serve 1488 families who currently do not have ready access to a park or natural area (defined as a half-mile walk).
“The Native American Community Advisory Council welcomed Portland Parks & Recreation’s invitation to help name Kʰunamokwst Park, along with the Cully neighbors,” says Katy Holland of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. “We feel our ancestors would be honored to have this name chosen for the park which acknowledges the indigenous peoples of this surrounding area. “
All are welcome to the Khunamokwst Park Grand Opening Celebration, a community celebration on Saturday, May 16, from 11am-3pm featuring members of the Cully Association of Neighbors (CAN), Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz, PP&R Director Mike Abbaté, and other valued guests.
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
Picnic shelter with an “eco-roof”, a planted roof which reduces stormwater runoff into city infrastructure and provides for increased sustainability…
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
“The park makes excellent use of its nearly three acres,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. “Kʰunamokwst is another Portland park demonstrating design excellence, and our Cully neighbors deserve such a gem as their neighborhood gathering place. The long-awaited park will enhance the area as a center of healthy activity through recreation, sports, and reflection.”
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 helping design some of the exciting park features. The non-profit group Verde and Greenworks, PC, the park’s design firm, participated extensively with these endeavors as well.
Fritz adds that she has been 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. Stakeholders in Kʰunamokwst Park’s planning and development include the Cully Association of Neighbors (CAN), Hacienda CDC, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, a consultant team led by Greenworks PC, City Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish, PP&R Director Mike Abbaté, and other partners, neighbors and PP&R staff. 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.
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 Center. 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 Kʰunamokwst Park 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.
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