From March 31 to May 14, people across greater Portland shared ideas for parks and nature projects in Metro District 4, which includes much of the urban area north of Highway 8 in Washington County. After folks in the region shared their ideas, Metro and staff from other park districts in District 4 went to work taking the ideas and turning them into projects you can vote for. The first step was vetting them to make sure they could be funded by the 2019 parks and nature bond.
See what community members shared
Dig into the comments, doodles, dioramas and other ideas community members shared for each project idea.
See the ideas
When Metro asked community members to imagine parks and nature projects, there weren’t any restrictions around what ideas could be shared. Metro didn’t want to limit community members' imaginations and miss out on a fantastic idea because someone worried it wasn’t the “right” kind of idea.
There are, however, limits on what the grants can fund. Nature in Neighborhoods community choice grants can be used to buy land, build park structures and give nature boosts through big restoration projects. The money can’t be used for a youth program or to host a festival, to name two ideas submitted by several community members. The projects must also meet the racial equity and climate resilience criteria voters approved in the bond.
Ideas that didn’t meet these criteria were set aside, but they weren’t simply tossed out. Youth programs and festivals are fantastic ideas. Metro is sharing what it learns with other governments and parks and nature organizations so they have an even better idea of the types of projects community members want to see in their neighborhoods.
Community design workshops
All of the ideas that met the criteria went to three community design workshops. The projects fell into three big categories:
At the workshops, community members, including those who shared project ideas, talked with park designers about how to add to the ideas to give them more details so that others can better see the project concept.
With these insights, the designers did a second round of vetting. Some project ideas were combined with similar ideas, others were split into multiple projects at multiple locations and a some were set aside for potential funding in the future.
The designers then created simple plans for each of the project ideas, providing a view of what the project might look like. Those illustrations and descriptions are what you’ll see when you go to vote for your favorite projects.