Ask anybody in the greater Portland region what makes this place special, and many people will mention nature and opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
Metro operates a unique park system, one with nature at its heart. Thanks to two decades of voter investments, Metro manages 17,000 acres of parks, trails and natural areas across every community in the region – from Chehalem Ridge on the west to the Sandy River Gorge on the east, from Blue Lake and Smith and Bybee Wetlands on the north to Graham Oaks on the south.
In 2015, Metro celebrated its 25th year as a parks provider. After creating a world-class regional parks and nature system, the natural next step was to develop a long-term strategic plan to guide the future of the treasured regional network.
The Parks and Nature System Plan, approved by the Metro Council in February 2016, lays out Metro’s mission and role, the state of the portfolio, trends that will shape this work and a slate of strategies to guide the future. By providing clarity on Metro’s direction, the plan is intended to support Metro’s partners and strengthen relationships – complementing the broader regional network of parks, trails and natural areas.
Since the plan was approved, Metro has been working to bring it to life, focusing on conserving natural resources, developing and operating welcoming and inclusive parks and incorporating equity across the Parks and Nature portfolio.
The plan also provides strategic direction in investing the money that voters have approved through two regional bond measures and a levy – more than $400 million to date – to protect water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and provide people with opportunities to experience nature close to home.
To see the impact of these investments and the opportunities ahead, listen to the stories from people on the ground. Learn more about how your tax dollars were spent from July 2015 to June 2016 to return a former gravel mine to its wild roots, provide opportunities for diverse communities to access nature, make much-needed improvements to popular parks – and much more.