INTERTWINE HOSTS PARKS SUMMIT MAY 2016

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.

Springwater Press Release

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 CountyResidents, 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.

For information go to: www.springwaterpcd.org, Email emdprosperityiniative@gmail.com, Call 503-660-8927

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Forest Park East? Yes, please!

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.

http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/266656-139842-trail-network-in-store-for-east-buttes-area

Four of Five Parks & Recreation Measures Pass in 2014

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 

Community Gardening & Nutritional Health Program For Low-Income Youth Affected by Food Scarcity; A Grant Proposal

Melenie K. Dosen, Student of Social Work, Cal State University Longbeach writes about the benefits of community gardens for kids who live in low income families. Creating opportunity, access to nutrition and community connections.

Barriers to Healthy Food in Gresham's Rockwood Area

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The Coalition for Liveable Future white paper contains excellent analysis of the Rockwood Neighborhood food access system. It also contains interesting local demographics and other contextual issues. It does not contain information about community gardens.  Gardens are a critical component of a healthy food environment.

EXCERPT

"Rockwood is the City of Gresham’s most densely populated neighborhood. Its residents experience significantly higher rates of poverty than most other neighborhoods in the region. Rockwood is also one of the most racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the region. It has the 6th highest density per acre of populations of color of all neighborhoods in the four-county Portland metropolitan region, and the 2nd highest density per acre of Hispanic population.

The environment in Rockwood today does not support residents’ health. Analysis of the Regional Equity Atlas, community surveys, and focus groups revealed that many Rockwood residents have difficulty accessing healthy foods due to: (1) the limited availability of affordable, healthy food in the neighborhood; (2) the broad availability of unhealthy food; and (3) challenges that transit-dependent residents face in accessing sources of healthy food options outside of the neighborhood.

Consistent with national research showing the connection between lack of access to healthy food and disease rates, Rockwood residents experience higher rates of obesity and obesity-related chronic disease such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease."