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Portland Parks & Recreation

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Cully Park Grand Opening is Saturday, June 30, 2018

POSTED JUNE 21, 2018 

(Portland, OR) –

Please join Portland Parks & Recreation, Verde, Living Cully for celebration of new 25-acre park in a park-deficient neighborhood

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) and Verde announce the grand opening of the new 25-acre Cully Park on Saturday, June 30, 2018, 11:30am-4pm. The huge new city park is the result of years of community efforts, fundraising and advocacy in tandem with Portland Parks & Recreation funding in the diverse, park-deficient Cully neighborhood. 

  • WHAT: Grand opening of Cully Park 
  • WHEN: Saturday, June 30, 2018, 11:00am-4pm 
  • WHO: The Cully and PP&R communities, including Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Interim Director Kia Selley, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, and other elected officials and special guests. 
  • WHERE: The new Cully Park, NE 72nd Avenue, just north of Killingsworth 

Note: the parking lot at NE 72nd Avenue will be reserved primarily for guests with mobility concerns and elderly visitors and is expected to be full. The nearby Sheraton Hotel will provide shuttle buses from the Living Cully Plaza at 6723 NE Killingsworth Street to the park entrance. 

Enjoy live music from Dina y Los Rumberos; plus Native American drumming and storytelling, a scavenger hunt, youth soccer clinic, and more! The event is free, family-friendly, and open to all. 

Special thanks to NW Natural, which is providing tents, food, and refreshments at the Cully Park grand opening. 

The Portland Timbers are partnering in the grand opening by showing the Timbers/Sounders match live on giant TV screens at 1:30pm. 

Please visit the Cully Park grand opening Facebook page facebook.com/events/388102114998905/ for details on parking and other event information. 

“The new park is a beautiful place that is a tribute to the years of effort by Verde, the Let Us Build Cully Park! Coalition, the community, Commissioner Nick Fish and me, and Portland Parks & Recreation,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “The park construction would not have been accomplished without these partners’ efforts, and the completion of the first community-driven parks project in an underserved, diverse area of town is a testimony to collaboration by many individual and agencies. I am immensely happy to be the Commissioner-in-Charge at the opening and offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved.” 

“So many, many individuals, groups and institutions played indispensable roles in making the dream of Cully Park into a reality, including our incredible friends at Portland Parks & Recreation, and we are grateful for this good work we have done together,” says Alan Hipólito, Executive Director of Verde. “Cully Park is a statement about the power of community, and I want to especially thank the hundreds of Cully adults, families and children who worked so hard for so long -- my friends, you did it, you designed and built a park which everyone can enjoy, and which will serve generations of Portlanders.” 

The Cully Park success story

The community, let by the non-profit Verde, spearheaded the park’s development through the Let Us Build Cully Park! coalition; and Portland Parks & Recreation supplemented funding to make the park a reality after years of fundraising, planning, and anticipation. The project has transformed a former landfill (and before that, a sand and gravel mine) into a developed, 25-acre city park in Portland’s Cully neighborhood, one of the most diverse in the entire state of Oregon. 

“Cully Park means that 517 Portland families who did not previously have access to any park or natural area - defined as a half-mile walk -  now have one of the largest City parks in Portland to enjoy,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Interim Director Kia Selley. “From the unique Native Gathering Garden which will help honor and educate about indigenous cultural values and ethics, to sports fields, the huge play areas, climbing boulders, an overlook, dog off-leash area and much more, the park opening caps a much-anticipated, years-long process. Cully Park is now a showcase destination for relaxation, reflection, and play.” 

All park features have been designed and built through a deep commitment to community engagement and economic opportunity. Cully Park includes: 

  • Native Gathering Garden -- this unique feature will offer opportunities for honoring and educating about indigenous cultural values and ethics through holistic, culturally-significant garden design and maintenance. The site is intended as a catalyst for strengthening and healing relationships (between people, nature, and place) throughout our city. This work is centered on honoring, respecting, and educating through Indigenous cultural values. 
  • A playground combining traditional play, nature play and inclusive elements.
  • The playground includes sand and a water play area
  • A dog off-leash area (nearly half an acre in size)
  • Restrooms
  • Walking paths
  • An overlook, picnic areas, and habitat restoration
  • A parking lot with 50 spaces
  • A Portland Community Garden (completed previously)
  • A youth soccer field
  • A Portland Community Garden (established and used since 2012)
  • Covered shelters
  • Space for two future baseball fields, full-size soccer field, and other park features when funding for the next phase of the park is determined 

“No single organization, community or jurisdiction could have built this park alone, but together we transformed what was essentially a mountain of trash into a new asset for Cully, and for Portland,” adds Verde’s Hipólito. 

How to get there

The park’s main entrance, with a 50-space parking lot, is off NE 72nd Avenue, north of Killingsworth Street. Verde has redeveloped this entry point, transforming it into the “NE 72nd Greenstreet” - combining needed transportation improvements with innovative environmental elements. Note: for the grand opening, the parking lot at NE 72nd Avenue will be reserved primarily for guests with mobility concerns and elderly visitors and is expected to be full. The nearby Sheraton Hotel will provide shuttle buses from the Living Cully Plaza at 6723 NE Killingsworth Street to the park entrance. 

Equity

Cully Park’s completion means that 517 Portland families who did not previously have any park or natural area within a half-mile now do, and it is an impressive destination. 

Cully Park furthers PP&R’s and the City’s equity goals. Data show that central-northeast Portland is second only to the area east of I-205 in terms of the greatest need for parks and natural areas in the city. The Cully Park project is innovative because it was led by the community, and set ambitious workforce and contractor diversity goals. The City of Portland is proud to have been a partner in realizing the dream. 

The Cully area is one of the most diverse and park-deficient neighborhoods in the state. This area, and parts of east Portland, do not yet enjoy the same access to parks and green spaces as the rest of the city. 53% of residents in Cully Park’s service area are people of color (city average is 28%), and 27% are households below poverty status (city average is 15%). 

Funding

The funding for Cully Park’s unique public/private partnership comes from Parks System Development Charges and private donations. Verde, which spearheads the Let Us Build Cully Park! Coalition (a non-profit coalition of more than 15 community-based organizations), raised an eye-popping $7 million in donations from more than 50 partners and sources, including grants. Verde and the coalition worked tirelessly for years to cultivate financial support for the park. Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz dedicated just over $6 million ($6.02M) in System Development Charge (SDC) revenue towards the park’s construction. SDCs are one-time fees assessed on new development to cover a portion of the cost of increased infrastructure demands. 

Coming this summer to Cully Park

Festival Latino, at Cully Park on Saturday, August 11, 2018, 4pm until after sunset – vibrant, multicultural annual festival includes a soccer tournament, Zumba and Pound fitness activities with live music, and a showing of the popular movie Coco en español. 

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