On June 6, 2019, the Metro Council referred a parks and nature bond measure to greater Portland's voters to consider on the November ballot.
Read the full proposed measure:
Voters across greater Portland will be asked in November 2019 to consider a $475 million property tax measure that, if passed, would be used to purchase land, restore fish and wildlife habitat and complete trails through Metro’s parks and nature system.
Metro manages 17,000 acres of regional parks, trails and natural areas, and provides funding for local parks and nature projects. If passed, the bond measure would maintain the current tax rate of $0.19 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Community members gave input on the $475 million proposal, which would fund projects across Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties. If the bond passes, criteria for selecting projects would include reducing impacts of climate change and implementing Metro’s Strategic Plan to Advance Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
If voters approve a parks and nature bond measure, Metro would distribute money to six funding areas:
Land purchase and restoration, $155 million
Metro would purchase land from willing sellers and restore it to improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat. Projects would be selected from 24 distinct geographic areas based on attributes such as the potential to restore stream banks, oak and prairie habitat, or their cultural significance.
Metro park improvements, $98 million
Metro would complete nature parks such as Chehalem Ridge in Washington County, increase access for people with disabilities and maintain water systems, trails, bathrooms and other amenities at parks such as Oxbow and Blue Lake.
Nature in Neighborhoods grants, $40 million
Metro would award grants for capital projects to purchase land, restore fish and wildlife habitat, or provide access to nature. Priority would be given to projects that reduce the impacts of climate change and implement Metro’s Strategic Plan to Advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Local parks and nature projects, $92 million
Metro would distribute money to cities, counties and park providers across greater Portland to purchase land, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and build and maintain parks in local communities.
Walking and biking trails, $40 million
Metro would secure rights to build new trails and construct missing sections, completing projects identified in a regional plan for a network of walking and biking paths.
Complex community projects, $50 million
Metro would provide funding for public projects that also address other community issues such as jobs, housing and transportation. This program area would include $20 million to help provide public access to Willamette Falls in downtown Oregon City.
Funding amounts from Metro Resolution 19-4988. All numbers are approximate. If the bond measure does not pass, the property tax rate for Metro’s parks and nature bond program would drop to $0 per $1,000 of assessed value by 2026 and the above projects would not be completed.