The Parks and Nature System Plan spells out Metro’s role in protecting clean water, restoring fish and wildlife habitat and connecting people with nature close to home – and sets priorities for moving this unique park system into the future. The plan also describes Metro’s 17,000-acre portfolio of parks, trails, natural areas and historic cemeteries.
The greater Portland region has a strong network of local park providers and an excellent system of protected state and federal land. However, Metro is one of just a few agencies focusing on large-scale conservation of natural areas close to home in an urban setting. Metro can acquire and provide access to large sites that typically are beyond the reach of local jurisdictions, but closer to population centers than those managed by state and federal providers. Metro’s resources also provide unique support to regional partners through grants and partnerships.
The system plan lays out six mission-critical strategies:
- Use science to guide Metro’s Parks and Nature portfolio.
- Ensure that Metro Parks and Nature programs and facilities support the needs of underserved communities, including communities of color, low-income communities and young people.
- Develop a stable, long-term funding source to support Metro’s Parks and Nature portfolio.
- Ensure that parks, trails, natural areas and cemeteries managed by Metro are knit together into an integrated system.
- Diversify the businesses and people who do contracted work for Metro Parks and Nature.
- Build, sustain and leverage partnerships to advance the region’s shared commitment to an interconnected system of parks, trails and natural areas.
The Metro Council approved the system plan in 2016, following more than a year of engagement with partner organizations and community members.