Fix Our Parks

Pick up a free yard sign from the CNN office. See details below.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz attended our September neighborhood meeting and Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) proudly voted to support the Portland Parks Replacement Bond, Measure 26-159, on November 4.

From Forest Park to Pioneer Courthouse Square, and in neighborhoods across the city, Portland has a great park system. But with $365 million in necessary major maintenance needs over the 10 years, we need to make a smart investment now to keep our parks safe and open.

It’s time to fix our parks. That’s why SAN is supporting the Portland Parks Replacement Bond, Measure 26-159, on November 4.

As Portland’s last parks bond—passed in 1994—is paid off in 2015, we have the opportunity to address critical park needs without increasing tax rates from what they are today. We can raise up to $68 million to address the most critical needs of our parks system, by continuing to fund parks at the same tax rate as the expiring bond (approximately $0.0877 per $1,000 of assessed value). Over the last century, Portland has created and maintained our park system through bond measures and levies like this one.

If Portland voters approve Measure 26-159, funding would go toward Portland’s most urgent park needs—like replacing failing playgrounds and other safety and accessibility improvements. Measure 26-159 requires a citizen oversight panel and audits, to ensure the funds are well spent.

If the measure does not pass, the annual property taxes paid by the typical household with an assessed value of $152,000 could decrease by about $13. But we won’t have enough parks funding, which will mean more closures like the ones that have already happened at Couch Playground and on the Maple Trail in Forest Park. Our pools and other community facilities will be at risk of emergency closure when equipment fails.

Together, we can fix our parks, and keep them safe and open for years to come. And we need your help to make it happen.

SAN has pledged to the help Fix Our Parks reach more Portlanders, by spreading the word through social networking and yard signs.

Pick up a sign from Ronda at the CNN office and put it in your yard to spread the word!
CNN office:
4415 NE 87th Ave. (behind the fire station on 87 and Sandy Blvd. off of Prescott)
503-823-3157  |

For more information about Measure 26-159, please visit And please join us in voting YES on Measure 26-159 on November 4.

We have two fun outdoor events coming up in the next few weeks in Sumner neighborhood here in NE Portland. Greet fall by meeting some new neighbors and getting your hands dirty!

Event #1: Stewardship at Johnson Lake on Saturday, Sept 28

Johnson Lake, 2011 (DEQ photo)

What it is: The Johnson Lake natural area has a long and interesting history and it needs your help to stay healthy, safe and beautiful. Join Portland Parks & Recretion and the Sumner Association of Neighbors to help remove invasive weeds, pick up trash and improve trails in this small, but pleasant park.  Snacks, light refreshments, gloves, tools and training will be provided. Activities include: Invasive Plant Removal, Litter Cleanup, Maintenance & Monitoring. If you’re lucky, you might even see a crane or beaver. Cosponsored by Portland Parks and Recreation and SOLV(E).

Time: 10 AM to 1 PM (free lunch from Cascade Station Subway included)

Where: Meet at trailhead at the east end of NE Colfax Street (it’s a cul-de-sac), off NE 92nd behind the glass factory (map)

Signup and more info: Go to the SOLV(E) signup page or contact Marissa at PP&R. If you already signed up at the annual barbecue or at a recent neighborhood meeting, you don’t have to sign up again. And if you just show up, no one will be turned away! The more the merrier. More background on Johnson Lake.

Event #2: Parke Diem at Helensview Community Garden on Saturday, Oct 12

Parke Diem LogoWhat it is: Get “Down & Dirty” with the gardeners of Helensview Community Garden! Help to prepare/cover crop plots for the winter, build up pathways with bark chips and when the work is done, join in for a volunteer potluck picnic to celebrate all our hard work! If you have not been down to the garden yet, this is a great chance to see what the fuss is about! Cosponsored by Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) and the Portland Parks Foundation

Time: 11 AM to 1 PM

Where: Helensview Community Garden, 8678 NE Sumner (access via NE 87th), in the NW corner of the Helensview schoolyard (map)

Signup and more info: Go to the Parklandia signup page or contact or call (503) 348-9813. And if you just show up, no one will be turned away! The more the merrier.

Volunteer stewards at Johnson Lake on April 6, 2013

Caption: Two pairs of volunteers on the trail at the Johnson Lake natural area on April 6. The stewardship event was co-sponsored by SAN, Portland Parks (who owns the natural area), and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council.

For a very nice account about the lake and the cleanup event, see East Portland’s Johnson Lake gets TLC the on the East PDX News website.

For more background about Sumner’s involvement with Johnson Lake, see this August 2011 backgrounder and our August 2011 meeting notes.

Join us for the next stewardship event at Johnson Lake on Saturday, September 30.

Any grand opening is a big deal. As fitting for the great good luck we’ve had from the start of this project, the Helensview Community Garden opening in Sumner neighborhood in NE Portland was blessed with grand weather and a grand turnout.

Gardeners selecting their new plots at the Helensview Community Garden grand opening

Caption: Gardeners selecting their new plots at the Helensview Community Garden grand opening

Sandwiches donated by Subway at Cascade Station

Caption: Sandwiches & fixin’s donated by Subway at Cascade Station (next to Target). Attendees were surprised — and very pleased — to see Subway.

Scott thanks a long list of partners and neighbors

Caption: Sumner neighborhood chair Scott Somohano stands at the shed entrance (right) to thank a long list of partners and neighbors

Kris, principal of Helensview School

Caption: Helensview School Principal Kris Persson spoke about how the students will use the garden in their curriculum — and in their lunches

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish

Caption: Commissioner Nick Fish, who oversaw the Parks Bureau during the city’s drive to add 1,000 Gardens, spoke about how the Helensview garden was the last project completed under the initiative — and the fastest from start to finish.

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz

Caption: Commissioner Amanda Fritz also joined us for the celebration — just as she did for a work party last fall. However, this time she did not wear her trademark zebra-striped boots.

Bryce from Oregon Tilth demonstrating top gardening practices

Caption: Bryce from Oregon Tilth demonstrated top gardening techniques

Kids playing

Caption: A youngster expressed his approval for the new garden (& otherwise enjoyed the sunny weather)

Most of the garden is booked but there are still a few plots available. Several of the attendees commented favorabily about the size and potential of the 11-acre site for future school/park style development. Not to mention its grand view of Mount St Helens.

A final note: Thanks to Dan and Heather for taking photos!

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