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The late former Parks Commissioner Nick Fish celebrates with a team after the Portland World Soccer tournament championship, in a recent summer. Photo is courtesy of Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland, OR.
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 05 November 2020

Portland voters have approved an operating levy to provide Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) crucial funding for the City’s park system, including reopening public pools and community centers in Summer 2021 when public health conditions permit.

“This levy is an important investment in our community’s parks and recreation system,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “Thanks to Portland voters, PP&R will now be able to keep our parks safe and clean and begin the work of making our parks and recreation system welcoming for all Portlanders.”

With additional funding from the temporary levy, PP&R will:

  • Open public pools and community centers, and offer classes and camps, when public health conditions allow.
  • Center equity in the delivery of its programs and services, ensuring that cost is no longer a barrier for Portlanders accessing community centers and public pools.
  • Improve access for all Portlanders by making our parks cleaner, safer, and more welcoming.
  • Grow nature by restoring natural areas, planting more trees, safeguarding clean water, protecting wildlife, diminishing the effects of climate change, and providing the appropriate care for the 1.2 million trees in our parks system.

“My friend, the late former Parks Commissioner Nick Fish, would be so pleased that Portlanders have invested in their parks and recreation system at this critical moment,” adds Fritz. “Working toward a sustainable future for our parks was really important to him.

"This levy represents another aspect of Nick’s impressive legacy of public service in Portland.”

PP&R will work with community members, including Black, Indigenous and People of Color Portlanders, culturally specific organizations, and nonprofit partners to refine exactly how levy funds are used. A five-member oversight committee will review proposed levy expenditures and City Council will approve levy budgets annually.

“Voters have chosen to help Portland Parks & Recreation become more equitable, to serve more Portlanders, and to appropriately care for our environment and natural resources,” says PP&R Director Adena Long. “While we have a long road ahead, I look forward to building a sustainable parks and recreation system for all current and future Portlanders.”

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