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Portland Parks & Recreation

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Portland Parks & Recreation’s Gateway Discovery Park opens in East Portland

POSTED AUGUST 21, 2018

(Portland, OR) -

New park and plaza serves nearly 1,000 new households in area east of I-205

Portland Parks & Recreation, Prosper Portland, Harper's Playground, and the Gateway community of neighbors and businesses invite everyone to the grand opening of Gateway Discovery Park, Portland’s newest park and plaza. The free, public celebration, championed by Shriners Hospital for Children, is on Saturday, August 4, 2018, from 10am-3pm. 

Gateway Discovery Park is Portland’s newest neighborhood park, 3.2 acres of community space at NE 106th Avenue and Halsey Street. It features an inclusive play area for kids of all abilities (thanks to design by PLACE Studio, LLC, and fundraising efforts led by Harper’s Playground), features for nature-based play, a large grassy lawn, a plaza for performances and many other types of events, a splash pad for water play, a skateboard area, picnic and gathering areas, and innovative public art. 

Gateway Discovery Park will serve more than 800 new households which formerly did not have ready access to a park or natural area (defined as a half-mile walk). 

WHAT: Grand opening of Gateway Discovery Park, East Portland’s newest park and gathering space
WHERE: Gateway Discovery Park, NE 106th Avenue and Halsey Street
WHEN: Saturday, August 4, 2018, 10am-3pm

This grand opening event includes a formal dedication, food carts, amazing musical and dance performances, and activities throughout the park for all ages. PP&R’s Workforce Development staff will be hosting a booth to provide information about employment and careers with Portland Parks & Recreation. Staff from the Bureau’s Community Engagement team will also be on site to discuss the City’s future needs for parks and greenspaces and to answer questions. 

Click here to visit the Facebook event page for the Gateway Discovery Park grand opening.

“The grand opening of Gateway Discovery Park represents another major milestone in my work with Portland Parks & Recreation to increase East Portland neighbors’ access to parks,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “The park site was once a restaurant, parking lot and field lot. Now it is a welcoming, vibrant Gateway Regional center plaza and gathering space for the Hazelwood and Parkrose Heights neighborhoods. I hope it will be a catalyst for economic development in Gateway. I thank all partners and PP&R staff for their hard work and input towards making Gateway Discovery Park inclusive, fun, and innovative.” 

“To me, the most exciting aspect of Gateway Discovery Park is the inclusive playground – thanks to Harper’s Playground – which helps further our equity goals and allows kids of all abilities to play together,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Interim Director Kia Selley. “The park and plaza provide a welcome space for recreation, reflection, Summer Free For All activities, and special events year-round. It will be a vital part of our city, for generations to come.” 

"Harper's Playground is honored to be included as part of this wonderfully realized community asset,” says Harper’s Playground Executive Director G Cody QJ Goldberg. “Our vision of a Harper’s Playground- certified inclusive playground in every quadrant of Portland is one big step closer to reality. We are thankful to Parks Commissioner Fritz, all PP&R staff and partners, and everyone involved for embracing this park’s vision. Together, we are ensuring that everyone is invited to play and connect at Gateway Discovery Park." 

For years to come, Gateway Discovery Park will provide a plaza space that will accommodate community celebrations similar to Pioneer Courthouse Square. On August 18, 2018, Gateway Discovery Park will be the site of Portland’s Tonga Day Festival beginning at 1pm. The day of cultural celebrations and family fun continues with live Pacific Islander/Tongan music at 6:30pm, and ends with the Summer Free For All Movie in the Park showing of Moana at dusk. 

On Sunday, August 19, 2018, the park will also be a Sunday Parkways destination and the WALK with Refugees and Immigrants.  


Fast Facts on Gateway Discovery Park

A partnership project with Prosper Portland (formerly the Portland Development Commission) 

Park features
The 3.2-acre park serves as a “living room” for the Gateway and surrounding neighborhoods. The park has a designated activity space and is designed to appeal to people of all ages and abilities. The plaza will accommodate a variety of events, festivals, and farmer’s markets. Other features include a large grassy lawn, a splash pad for water play, a skateboard area, elements for nature-based play, picnic areas, innovative public art, and places to relax. 

Equity/equal access
Gateway Discovery Park serves more than 800 new households which formerly did not have ready access to a park or natural area (defined as a half-mile walk). Data show that 36% of these households are racial and ethnic minorities, and that 28% are experiencing poverty. 

Funding
Gateway Discovery Park cost $10.2 million (rounded), which includes $8.8 million from System Development Charges (or SDCs - one-time fees assessed on new development to help keep pace with infrastructure needs; SDCs are not General Fund tax dollars), $1.2 million from Prosper Portland (formerly the Portland Development Commission), and $225,000 from Harper’s Playground

Thanks to Harper’s Playground
Our valued non-profit partner, Harper’s Playground, committed to raising the needed funds to make the new Gateway Discovery Park the site of Portland’s next inclusive play area (and the second completed in the City). Harper’s Playground served on the Project Advisory Committee (PAC), and advised on inclusive design. The PAC and the community were fully committed to creating a play area that allows all children to play together. Harper’s Playground continues to advocate for inclusive playgrounds citywide. 

Special thanks to the following for their partnership, advocacy, and enthusiasm:

  • Harper’s Playground 
  • Community partners
    • African Youth and Community Organization (AYCO)
    • East Portland Action Plan
    • East Portland Parks Coalition
    • Gateway Area Business Association (GABA)
    • Halsey-Weidler Group
    • Hazelwood Neighborhood Association
    • Human Solutions
    • Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
    • Arlene Kimura, community advocate
    • Christopher Masciocchi, community advocate
    • Mill Park Neighborhood Association
    • Parkrose Heights Neighborhood Association
    • Portland Parks & Recreation’s Native American Community Advisory Council
    • Portland’s skateboarding community
    • Sacramento Elementary School
    • United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon and Southwest Washington
    • Woodland Park Neighborhood Association. 
  • Gateway Discovery Park Project Advisory Committee
    • G Cody QJ Goldberg
    • Bob Earnest
    • Nidal Kahl
    • Andrew Long
    • Karen Justice
    • Clifford Robinson
    • Linda Robinson
    • Abudi Said
    • Xochil Springer
    • Jessa Sweany
    • Thuy Tran
    • Jennifer Wilde 
  • Gateway Discovery Park naming committee
    • Tom Badrick (Parkrose Heights Neighborhood Association)
    • Bob Earnest (Gateway Urban Renewal Advisory Committee, EPAC)
    • Shelly Hunter (formerly of PP&R)
    • Arlene Kimura (Hazelwood Neighborhood Association, appointed by Commissioner Fritz)
    • Verdene McGuire (NACAC)
    • Linda Robinson (Hazelwood NA, PAC, PB)
    • Thuy Tran (PAC) 
  • City of Portland staff, design and construction companies/contractors
    • Prosper Portland
    • Portland Housing Bureau
    • George Lozovoy, Portland Parks & Recreation project manager
    • Reid Blanchard, Susan Watt (construction team)
    • Portland Parks & Recreation Business Development, Community Engagement, Community Relations, Construction Management, Planning/Development teams, and the PP&R Community Benefits Planning Committee
    • PLACE, LLC (landscape architecture) and their subconsultants
    • R&R General Contractors (and their subcontractors)