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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Community Involvement

Click here to visit the new Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project website.

Community input has been a key part of the visible features design process. Community involvement activities included meetings with a Community Sounding Board (CSB), stakeholder interviews, neighborhood association and advocacy group briefings, and public open houses. The project has also been presenting to and receiving guidance from the Historic Landmarks Commission.

The primary goals for the public outreach program were to:

  • Reach park users and nearby neighbors
  • Build project awareness
  • Update stakeholders and the general public on the recommendations made to date
  • Encourage people to participate in the process and provide feedback.

To date, with a clear understanding for the need for this project, there generally has been positive support of the public process and the direction the design team is moving with the visible features of the project.

Based on feedback from neighborhood groups, interviews, the CSB, the Historic Landmarks Commission, the public, and other groups, most people indicated a preference that the final site consider these key values:

  • Large expanses of water – The desire to retain significant areas of water at the site has been consistently and almost universally raised throughout the process and through all forms of outreach and consultation.
  • Retain as much historic character as possible – Desire to retain the historic character of the reservoirs has also been consistently heard by the project team. Different stakeholders have focused on different historic aspects, including: elements, such as the fence and buildings; the tranquil character; and the function as part of the city’s highly regarded water system.
  • Historic interpretive elements; providing quiet spaces and habitat – There has been almost universal interest in providing educational elements about the history of the site into any design. Many in the area would also like to see quiet/contemplative areas as well as areas for native habitat.
  • Being responsible with ratepayers’ money – This value has been consistently raised through all forms of outreach. While people support the visible features process, they want to ensure spending is kept in within reason.

Proposed designs for the visible features of the reservoir site have taken these values into account.

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