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Portland Parks & Recreation
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 21 May 2024

Vibrant Communities Commissioner Dan Ryan has allocated $500,000 in development funds to support and complete the Bristlecone Pine Trail ADA Accessibility Improvements project at Hoyt Arboretum, a Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) partner.

PP&R is currently renovating the one-mile out-and-back trail and the corresponding trailhead parking lot. While the specific project completion date is still to be determined, PP&R anticipates finishing the work in or by 2026.

bristlecone pine trail at hoyt arboretum medBristlecone Pine Trail at Hoyt Arboretum (Photo/Portland Parks & Recreation)
bristlecone pine trail at hoyt arboretum renderDesign concept of the picnic area (Image/Knot Studio, courtesy Portland Parks & Recreation)
Ryan’s allocation of $500,000 in Park System Development Charge funds will further enhance accessibility and access to nature at this popular location. Park SDCs are not general fund tax dollars; rather, they are one-time fees assessed on new development. SDCs help ensure that Portland’s quality of life keeps pace with its infrastructure needs as the city’s population grows. SDC funds may only be used to improve and expand park features and capacity per Oregon law.

The Bristlecone Pine Trail, constructed in 1986, became the first ADA-compliant trail in the Hoyt Arboretum. This trail is unique because it features evergreen conifers and deciduous trees arranged by geographic origin offering a diverse range of species that are viewable to people with limited mobility. There is an ADA-accessible parking lot at the trailhead, located at 148 SW Fischer Lane in Portland.

In partnership with the nonprofit Hoyt Arboretum Friends, the renovation will provide safe, barrier-free ADA access to the trail and a currently non-accessible picnic area. These improvements will enhance learning opportunities and interactions with nature through interpretive panels designed to accommodate visitors with varying abilities.

The Hoyt Arboretum project is also funded by the Metro Regional Parks & Nature Bond Local Share approved by voters in 2019. Of the approximately $3.7 million project budget, $3 million are from Metro Bond dollars; $500,000 are proposed from SDCs, and $210,000 in donations were secured by Hoyt Arboretum Friends.

“The Bristlecone Pine Trail is a regional draw, recognized and admired by hiking enthusiasts,” says Ryan. “Increasing access and connection to nature at Hoyt Arboretum will support more people being able to enjoy this wonderful natural destination.”

Trail improvements will focus on widening and updating the asphalt surface to meet current ADA guidelines and remove barriers to free movement for people who use mobility devices. This additional allocation will create new places for rest along the trail, including gathering and picnic areas that connect people to nature in more meaningful ways and prioritize people with varying abilities.

“Making nature more accessible for more people is a top priority for us,” says PP&R Director Adena Long.

“I appreciate the continued support of Hoyt Arboretum Friends and thank the Portland Parks & Recreation team making this trail project a reality.”

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