No matter where one stands in the greater Portland metro region, nature is never far.
With 17,000 acres, Metro manages parks 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 Broughton Beach on the north to Graham Oaks on the south.
In 2015, Metro celebrated its 25th year as a parks provider. Although Metro’s portfolio of land represents a big opportunity, it’s also a big responsibility.
Quick hits: Just want to see the highlights? A four-page printable PDF is also available.
Voters have trusted Metro to wisely spend the money they’ve invested through two regional bond measures and a levy – more than $400 million dollars – to protect and care for these special places while also creating opportunities for people to enjoy them.
Across the region, habitat is healthier, water is cleaner and more fish, wildlife and people are reaping the benefits. None of this work would be possible without voter investments in the 2006 natural areas bond measure and the 2013 parks and natural areas levy.
But a strong plan is needed to continue building a world-class regional Parks and Nature system that will serve the region’s residents for another 25 years and beyond. To launch that effort, Metro began working with diverse community members and partners in 2014 to craft a Parks and Nature system plan.
The system plan will play out on the ground in many important ways, determining how Metro operates parks and natural areas, what a park looks and feels like when visitors arrive, which natural areas have top priority for significant visitor improvements – and much more.
Community members, partners and equity advisers are helping to develop strategies that will ensure Metro Parks and Nature serves diverse audiences and needs. Early next year, the Metro Council is slated to approve a plan that lays the foundation for regional Parks and Nature work through the next decade and beyond.
But to see the impact of 25 years of voter investments and the exciting possibilities ahead, you have to hear the stories from the people on the ground. Learn more about how your dollars were spent from July 2014 to June 2015 to restore marshes, improve parks, and connect diverse and underserved communities with nature.