Lee Dayfield, one of our best proponents for district-wide park and recreation funding, is featured in a recent Gresham Outlook article. Check it out: https://pamplinmedia.com/go/42-news/441293-354748-pining-for-a-parks-district
A video showcasing the need for more parks and community services funding is now available for viewing on YouTube. The East Metro Arts and Community Council developed the video to raise awareness about limited parks and community service levels and the lack of recreation offerings throughout East County cities.
The East County Caring Community hosted a short Springwater presentation earlier this spring. Talking to over sixty representatives of local non-profits, Springwater Volunteers asked key questions of the group. Their answers are contained in the ECCC Report here.
A half day summit was hosted by the Intertwine May 12, 2016. The East Multnomah Parks working group was instrumental in bringing the summit to East Multnomah County and provided support for the event agenda and outreach.
The purpose of East Multnomah Parks working group, of which Springwater is a part, is to research, explore and facilitate adequate, sustainable, and strategic investment in East Multnomah County's parks, trails community centers, school grounds, and natural areas. This shared effort supports improved public health, economic prosperity, and environmental quality. This investment includes recreational and education programming, stewardship and maintenance, and needed capital improvements that equitably serve the entire community of East Multnomah County.
The Intertwine provided a brief recap of the events of the day, the outcome of discussions and next steps. You can read the Intertwine Letter here.
The Springwater Parks and Community District concepts will be discussed at the Fairview City Council meeting at 7:00 PM, Wednesday August 19th at Fairview City Hall Council Chambers, 1300 NE Village St., Fairview, OR 97024. The new district could include the four small cities and its school districts. The special services district would use shared governance to strategically invest new funding in existing pools, school facilities and sports fields while leveraging recreation resources to increase youth and family recreation opportunities in the East County. Residents, sports and community parks and recreation advocates are invited to attend the meeting to share their support.
East County’s rapidly growing population has vastly outpaced funding levels for community services and parks. Over-all investment in parks and recreation is far behind other communities of similar size. The long term disinvestment in services, parks and natural areas has reduced development while exacerbating problems of crime, poverty and public health.
Facing a challenge to ‘catch-up’ to attain the numbers of community centers, established parks, trails and community services that residents want and need, advocates believe that the four small cities and the school districts can work together to manage critical operations, make investments in existing facilities and develop the new facilities and services that are needed.
The City of Gresham’s “Rise, Advance, Dream” website, where citizens vote on posted ideas, the overwhelming majority of responses are directly related to parks and community services. One idea posted, (with several hundred votes), is;
“Our city is over 100,000 citizens. We have NO place to: take our children for activities, fitness, etc. We have no place to have community meetings, events, etc. other than the library.”
Eighteen months of research and outreach on the part of volunteers and advocates has provided clear concepts for an East County services district. The next required step is a regional feasibility study. The study will provide a clear analysis of the economic and fiscal implications giving voters the information they need to make an informed decision. The most cost effective way to accomplish the feasibility study is for cities and schools work together.
The Springwater Parks and Community District the group has gone before the City of Fairview and Troutdale parks committees, the City of Gresham natural resources committee and the Wood Village council to present their ideas. Advocates believe that voters want to make smart future investments in green infrastructure to benefit the economy and the community. A parks and community district feasibility study is required so that a future vote on the Springwater Parks and Community district can be a reality.
Metro is working with the City of Gresham to create a network of trails that will better connect existing ones in the East Buttes area to the Springwater Trail and to residents south in Damascus and Happy Valley. If this and other trail expansions go according to plan, the East Buttes network could also link to Troutdale and the Columbia River Gorge. And that could mean great things for the local economy. This is exactly the kind of environmental project we need funding to support and build.
This city southwest of Portland is poised to seriously invest in recreation programs for its 50,000-plus residents. We applaud the time and energy spent on this worthy endeavor and hope to see a similar effort in East Multnomah County, which has more than three times as many people. Want more details on what Tigard is up to? Check out this link: http://issuu.com/marastine/docs/rec_program_study
Here is some amazing data on the elements that go into our "disconnected" youth. A huge thanks to ECONWest for the research and WorkSystems Inc. for commissioning the project. For details, click on this link: http://issuu.com/marastine/docs/disconnected_youth-1
Did you know that East County residents already pay lower taxes than most residents in other parts of the region largely because of lower property tax rates? Check out this comparison of city tax rates in Oregon conducted by the Oregon League of Cities.
In Oregon, the results of the November election in 2014 speak to our values. Taking care of our parks, improving and repairing park facilities, encouraging community redevelopment, and building community recreation centers and pools. To view the results posted on the Oregon Recreation and Park Association website: Click here!
- Portland Parks Bond Measure 26-159
- Chehalem Park and Recreation District Measure 36-170
- West Linn Wilderness Park along Skyline Drive
- Boardman Parks and Recreation District bond measure, construction of new community recreation center and pool