By Carol McCracken (Post # 2, 207)
Portland Trails will facilitate a series of public meetings and focus groups – called Community Conversations – starting next Monday evening, October 27th from 6:30 -8:000 pm at Riverton Community Center. There are two other similar meetings scheduled; Wednesday, October 29th from 6:30 -8:00 pm at Reiche Elementary School and Wednesday, November 5th from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Portland Public Library, Main Branch on Congress Street.
These forums are the first steps in an open spaces assessment and comprehensive planning project that will engage Portlanders from all corners of the city in contributing their thoughts on open space priorities and needs across the community. Portland Trails will gather and document all of this input through copious note taking on a set of citywide GIS maps developed by partners at The Trust for Public Land and the City’s Planning Division as well as distribution and collection of a brief written survey to asses open space use across Portland.
“Portlanders are clearly passionate about open spaces – how they’re utilized, how well they’re maintained and whether or not they’re guaranteed to remain as dedicated public spaces for generations to come. We’d like to foster a more civil dialogue around these issues and to help community members find common ground on their ‘special places’,” sais Kara Wooldrik, Executive Director of Portland Trails. “Ultimately, these dialogues will proactively inform city officials about prevailing attitudes on open space land uses that are beloved, neglected and/or ready for a new investment.”
Additional community conversations and focus groups are still being scheduled; check back frequently at www.trails.org. for more.
Portland Trails announced on July 16, 2014, it had received a grant in the amount of $18,000 to launch this citywide open spaces assessment and comprehensive planning initiative. The award came from the Lerner Foundation.