In May 2013, voters across the Portland metro area approved a five-year levy to help care for 17,000 acres of regional parks, trails and natural areas. The levy raises about $10 million per year, going toward six major initiatives – representing hundreds of projects on the ground.
Natural area restoration and maintenance: Across the region, restoration projects are significantly improving the health of habitats that wildlife depend on. Natural areas maintenance helps control invasive species and give native plantings a chance to thrive.
Natural area improvements for visitors: Low-impact, low-cost improvements are making natural areas safer and easier to visit, with a focus on hiking and walking.
Park maintenance and improvements: Capital improvements such as new restrooms, playgrounds and parking enhance Metro’s developed parks, which attract more than 1.3 million visitors every year.
Volunteer programs: Volunteer programs are expanding to support meaningful community engagement.
Conservation education: Metro is expanding classes and exhibits that help people learn from regional parks and natural areas. New opportunities are being developed for youth, including skill-building programs focused on underserved communities.
Community grants: Nature in Neighborhoods grants have expanded, supporting habitat restoration, conservation education and other projects that connect people with nature close to home. Since launching the program in 2006, Metro has funded nearly 100 community projects across the region.
In November 2016, voters approved a five-year renewal of the levy, extending the end date of funding to June 2023. The levy renewal will raise about $16 million a year, which will go toward supporting the six existing program areas.