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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Contact

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302
Portland, Oregon 97204

503-823-PLAY (7529)

Jessie Bond, Partnership & Development Coordinator

503-823-4131

Adopt-A-Bench Team,

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Adopt-A-Bench

A PARK BENCH CAN BE MORE THAN JUST A PLACE TO SIT

The Adopt a Bench Program is an opportunity to share a meaningful space while enhancing our parks for the enjoyment of all.

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has built over 2,000 park benches, and since the 1980s, more than 250 of these benches have been adopted and maintained by community members like you—providing a place to sit, reflect, celebrate, and remember.


HOW TO ADOPT A BENCH

Interested in adopting a bench to celebrate a joyous occasion, remember a loved one, or help maintain Portland's park legacy? Please read below and learn more about our Adopt a Bench process.

Depending on the time of year as well as the location of the desired bench, this Adopt a Bench process can take up to 8 months or 1 year.

If you are remembering a loved one who has recently passed away, we recommend you wait a year before beginning this year-long process. 


BENCH ADOPTION TIMELINE

STEP ACTION APPROXIMATE TIME TO COMPLETE
1 DETERMINE YOUR BENCH ADOPTION BUDGET Determined by You
2 SELECT A BENCH TO ADOPT (OR LOCATION TO INSTALL) 2 Months
3 MAKE THE DONATION 2 Months
4 ORDER YOUR PERSONALIZED PLAQUE 2 Months ( 6 - 8 Weeks)
5 BENCH REFURBISHMENT OR INSTALLATION (with personalized plaque) 1 - 4 Months (dependent on weather conditions)

1 DETERMINE YOUR BENCH ADOPTION BUDGET

There are two types of contribution levels in our Adopt a Bench program. We invite donors to contribute to do the following:

CONTRIBUTION LEVEL BENCH ADOPTION TYPE
$ 3, 000 Refurbish an existing bench
$ 5, 000 Install a new bench

What does a contribution cover?

    • Cost of all bench materials for initial refurbishment or new installation (excluding personalized bronze plaque provided by donor)
    • Labor costs for installation of personalized bronze plaque, refurbishment of existing bench, or installation of new bench
    • Basic bench maintenance costs up to 10 years of bench life

Bench and labor costs are variable and subject to change based on market price for labor and bench materials. These costs will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly at the beginning of each fiscal year (July).

Longevity of Adoption

A bench adoption contribution covers the price of all bench materials, labor costs for refurbishment or installation, and basic bench maintenance of bench for up to 10 years.

After the 10-year adoption anniversary, the bench will be available for re-adoption. We will make an attempt to contact you at that time.

Please keep us informed of your re-adoption plans. If you choose not to re-adopt, we reserve the right to steward a new donor and add one additional personalized plaque at the site. Benches can have up to two plaques.

Include a Personalized Plaque at an Additional Cost

Donors are invited to purchase and include a plaque with bench adoption which will be installed by Portland Parks & Recreation within the concrete at the base and to the side of the bench.

Plaques are an additional and separate cost the donor purchases from an outside vendor. Portland Parks & Recreation cannot recommend a specific vendor, and cost will vary. Market price for plaques (to Portland Parks & Recreation specifications) range from $175 to $300.

Please see more details on plaque ordering and specifications below in STEP 4: ORDER YOUR PERSONALIZED PLAQUE.


2 SELECT A BENCH TO ADOPT

Do you have a park in mind? To view benches at a specific park location, use our interactive bench inventory map by clicking the link below.

CLICK HERE FOR BENCH INVENTORY MAP

*For best results, view map using Firefox or Google Chrome. 

How to Search for a BenchHow to Use the Map

The map includes benches, plotted in either red or green dots, in our Adopt a Bench program. The green dots on map indicate a bench may be available for adoption upon confirmation by Portland Parks & Recreation.

Use the search circle at the top right-hand corner of the map to narrow your search.

Once you zoom into the park site, explore the benches marked by green dots. Click on the dot to pull up a pop-up window with more information. You will see an “Attachments” section in the window where you can click to view photos of the bench. See figures below.

Figure 1: Search button in top right-hand corner.

 

Figure 2: Click on dot to pull up a pop-up with more details on bench.

View Details of Bench

Adopt a Bench Map

Click to view a larger image of this map

 As you explore the map, make note of the Bench ID Number. Please select up to three benches that you would be interested in adopting (we suggest selecting more than one in case your first choice is unavailable).

With over 2,000 benches in our park system, we encourage donors to consider adopting an already existing bench for refurbishment before considering a new bench installation. Benches will vary depending on park aesthetics.

Programmatic Excluded Sites

You may notice your desired site does not have any available benches for adoption and is not accepting new bench installations. The following sites are currently unavailable for adoption and new installation:

All Natural Areas

Excluded Developed Sites List  
Council Crest Park Forest Park
Gabriel Park Hoyt Arboretum
Laurelhurst Park Mt Tabor Park
Washington Park International Rose Test Garden

Other parks may reach capacity at any time.

Fill out the Adopt a Bench Form

Use the form to record the Bench ID Numbers (three total) from the online map. If you’re interested in installing a new bench, identify the approximate location within the park using the nearest cross streets or identifiable, permanent object.

Email your Adopt a Bench Form to adoptabench@portlandoregon.gov. We will follow up with next steps and bench confirmation.

Please call (503) 823-4131 if you have any questions or would like additional support in choosing your park bench. We’d love to help!


3 MAKE YOUR DONATION

Once a bench selection or site location (for new installation) has been confirmed by Portland Parks & Recreation, you will receive a donation form and additional information on how to make official payment.

Personal checks and credit/debit cards are accepted. Multiple donors may contribute to the same bench through honorary or memorial funds.

Bench adoptions are tax-deductible, and you will receive a receipt upon payment within 10 days.


4 ORDER YOUR PERSONALIZED PLAQUE

We invite donors to purchase a personalized brass plaque to be installed by Portland Parks & Recreation within the cement at the foot of the bench. Plaque placement can vary depending on park site and bench.

See a more typical plaque installation below.

Plaque Installation

On the donation form (received in Step 3 above), there is a section where you can submit an official plaque inscription to be reviewed by Portland Parks & Recreation.

To ensure public parks remain a safe and welcoming space for all, plaque inscriptions must be approved by Portland Parks & Recreation before plaque installation. The following wording will not be approved:

      • Lifespan dates (birth to death dates) *Single birth or death date may be included
      • Profanity
      • Obscenities
      • Hate speech or symbols
      • Inappropriate references of any nature

Plaques written in languages other than English are welcomed.

Once plaque wording is approved, you will be responsible for ordering and purchasing the plaque from an outside vendor of your choice. Plaque production varies from vendor to vendor, but please expect at least 7 to 8 weeks.

Plaque specifications must be the following:

  • Bronze
  • 8 inches (width) by 5 inches (height)
  • Include 3-inch brass all-thread lugs with brass nuts
  • 3/8 inches (thick)
    Backing                ~1/4 inches
    Letters/Border      ~1/8 inches

More information will be provided on plaque specification at the time this stage is reached in the process.


5 BENCH REFURBISHMENT OR INSTALLATION (with personalized plaque)

Bench installation and refurbishment is dependent on good weather. Depending on the time of year your bench adoption process begins, a bench may not be ready for improvement or installation for up to four months.

The Adopt a Bench Team will stay in communication with you until your project is complete. A photo will be shared at time of bench completion.


If you have any questions on any part of this process or would like to begin the process, please contact our Partnership & Development Coordinator, Jessie Bond, at (503) 823-4131 or Jessie.Bond@portlandoregon.gov.

Thank you so much for your interest in the supporting Portland’s parks by adopting a park bench!

HYPERLINKS

Click here for more information about the City of Portland's Adopt a Bench Policy.