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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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3. Sustainability

The City of Portland recognizes sustainability as practices that meet the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations meeting their needs. Already a national leader in the field, the PP&R 2012-15 strategic plan focuses on two challenges essential to ensuring that generations are able to enjoy the benefits of parks and recreation long into the future. Below are key performance measures we are using to measure our progress in achieving goals within this area. A summary table is provided along with detailed interactive charts below.

Goals and Progress Summary

  • Extend ecologically sustainable landscape management practices over the entire spectrum of PP&R’s green infrastructure.
  • Reduce consumption of water and energy resources system wide.
Progress Toward Target Performance Measure 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Target
Progress Acres of invasive species treated annually 2,261 2,321 2,563 1,397 2,173 2,000
No Change Tree canopy coverage (2012 updated methodology) 29.9% 29.9% 29.9% 29.9% 29.9% 33%
Progress made Number of trees planted (net) 4,265 4,544 4,779 3,453 4,207 Net Increase
Progress made Total greenhouse gas emissions from PP&R operations 13,494 12,413 12,619 11,876 12,042 10,058
  Undefined Water use (in CCFs or hundred cubic feet) 233,409 247,960 253,345 300,668 332,686 Undefined

Invasive Weeds

A key intervention towards improving the quality of park landscapes involves treating invasive weeds. In 2016, nearly 2,200 natural area acres were treated for the removal of invasive weeds.

Tree Canopy

During 2012, an extensive analysis of the urban tree canopy was completed by PP&R. The analysis involved using aerial photography to derive total tree canopy coverage for the city of Portland. Tree canopy coverage for the city land area as of 2010 was 29.9%. The analysis included an estimate of canopy coverage for the years 2000 and 2005. Over the ten-year period there has been a statistically significant increase in canopy coverage. The next update is scheduled to take place in 2017 and will continue every five years thereafter.

In the interim, PP&R continues to measure net tree plantings as a proxy for assessing progress towards canopy coverage goals. Substantial effort has been put toward planting additional trees in recent years. A net increase of 4,207 trees (trees planted minus trees removed) were planted in FY 2016.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In 2007, PP&R established a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by the year 2020. Greenhouse gas emissions at PP&R are directly linked to energy consumed by PP&R facilities and vehicles. Emissions decreased in 2016, mostly driven by increased use of biofuels within our fleet.

Water Use

The chart below identifies water use and cost at PP&R sites over the past five years. This includes all bureau use including irrigation, pools, splash pads, restrooms, and community centers. Water use and costs have increased in recent years. Water use and costs subsided in 2016, reversing a steady upward trend since 2011.  

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