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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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Soccer Field - Community Responses & Preferred Design

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has an opportunity to accept a donation of improvements to Lents Park. These improvements are for an artificial turf field and associated amenities including lighting.

Community Outreach
Two public meetings were held to invite the community to learn about and comment on the field updates. At the second meeting, two options were shared. One represented the Lents Park Master Plan field orientation and one that modified the master plan while working to accommodate the overall design intent of the master plan.

Community Feedback
We accepted public comments on both options from November 10, through November 23. The comment form was online. A link to the comment form was sent out to the community via email and the “I Love Lents” Facebook group. 83% of survey respondents supported the Master Plan option.

Preferred Design and Permitting
Both options will be reviewed as part of the Bureau of Development Services’ (BDS) pre-application meeting on December 3. BDS will conduct a Type III Land-use Review. This process includes additional public notice and comment periods. 

Based on the communities’ continued support of the master plan vision for the Lents park field, and with Director Abbaté and Commissioner Fritz’s review of the project options and community feedback, PP&R will recommend that the Master Plan - Option 1 be the preferred plan for this project.

Design details will be refined through this permit review process.

Construction is targeted to begin in the spring of 2016 with completion of the improvements in the fall of 2016.

Use of Artificial Turf Fields

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is committed to providing safe and accessible recreational opportunities for all Portlanders. To that end, we are pursuing the installation of an artificial turf (crumb rubber) field for this project, while paying close attention to the national conversation surrounding artificial turf. The safety of our fields, along with every facility we own and manage, is paramount. 

PP&R has a strong interest in conclusive research on crumb rubber infill; though right now such research is not decisive. We are monitoring as more research is done, always looking for improved technologies, and we will look for opportunities to collect data ourselves. Please note that the potential health concerns surrounding synthetic fields must also be balanced with both the dangers of uneven/waterlogged/baked-dry grass fields causing falls, broken bones and/or sprains, and also with the fact that in our climate, natural fields are unsuitable for use many months of the year.

We will continue to consult with other park associations nationwide to understand any other data available, and their decisions on crumb rubber.