We all know how important nature is, and we know that creating new opportunities to experience nature is needed. Those are big reasons voters in greater Portland supported the 2019 parks and nature bond measure. Seeing all those visitors at the region’s two newest parks was a joyful moment for Metro staff, all of you who have supported this work, and the folks in the region.
Bond program updates
Protect and restore land
Contact: Shannon Leary, [email protected]
The protect and restore program’s refinement work to create plans that will guide property purchases and acquisitions in 24 target areas to protect special places across the region is nearing completion.
Through January, we’ve hosted community sessions to share the latest information the protect and restore team has before they finish the plans and present it to the Metro Council this spring. These sessions offered an opportunity for partners and community members to see the work done to date, find out how community input has influenced the plans, learn what input wasn’t included and why. Paired with these sessions are the draft plans available for review as well as a survey we’d like you to take, if you can. We want to hear from you: what did we get right? What have we missed? What is most important to you?
The plans and survey are available on the program website in Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese, as well as English.
Again, we’d really appreciate if you can fill out the survey for the target area or areas you’re interested in. If you weren’t able to attend a session, a recording of one of the forums is posted on the webpage.
Head over to the program's interactive map to review the plans. For each target area, you can see the draft plan and take a survey asking how well the plan addresses the target area's priorities. Fill out the survey for as many target areas as you'd like. The survey will be open through February 20.
We so appreciate your involvement to shape the plans that will guide Metro’s property purchases for years to come. All of the staff who have worked on the program are grateful for the time and care you’ve offered over the last year.
Here are a few highlights of that work from the past year:
- Last fall, we hosted eight engagement sessions, with six focused on communities who have historically been sidelined in government decision making. One session was with Black and African American folks, another with Latine folks, one with Indigenous Latine people, one with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, one was a general session for people of color, and the sixth was with people who have disabilities. More than 100 people participated in these conversations, and in January we hosted two follow up sessions for these individuals to report back on the feedback we heard and how it shaped our work.
- From early in this process, we’ve worked in depth with members of the Indigenous community to develop an ecological assessment framework, identify which data sets to consider and then review the assessments for each of the target areas for land acquisition.
- Partnerships have been key to Metro’s conservation work, and throughout refinement we interviewed representatives from 59 partner organizations in the region, including park providers, soil and water conservation districts and watershed councils. These invaluable interviews helped us compile local knowledge about each of the bond’s 24 target areas for land acquisition in the bond measure.
Local parks and nature projects (local share)
Contact: Antonia Machado, [email protected]
Local share hosted a roundtable on Wednesday, January 12 sharing best practices in tribal government consultation and engagement. We were joined by Metro’s tribal liaison Katie McDonald, and Portland General Electric’s government affairs manager and tribal liaison Mini Sharma-Ogle. This roundtable is the first in a series of roundtables on the topic of tribal government consultation and engagement. We look forward to hosting future roundtable events with participation from interested Tribes so that they may introduce themselves and share more on these topics with local share partners. These events will be scheduled on a rolling basis as Tribal Government partners are available starting as soon as February 2022.
The tribal government consultation and engagement roundtables will not be recorded, and we encourage you to attend live.
These monthly roundtables serve as gathering spaces for the region’s park providers to share ideas and strategies around addressing the bond criteria and bond values and are especially suited for staff and leadership representatives who will be leading outreach and relationship building efforts and those who will be managing project schedules.
For more information about local share roundtables or for the link to join, please reach out to Humberto Marquez Mendez at [email protected].
Natural areas oversight committee meeting
Contact: Beth Cohen, [email protected]
The Natural Areas and Capital Program Performance Oversight Committee will have its first meeting of the new year on Tuesday, February 22 and will continue its work to prepare for a year one report back to the Metro Council. Please visit the committee’s webpage for additional meeting details and the link.