PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Metro Council has set aside nearly $9 million in funding to further develop five parks and nature projects throughout the Portland area.
The money comes from the parks and nature bond measure passed by Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington County voters in November 2019. Overall, the bond measure totaled $475 million and aimed “to further protect clean water, restore fish and wildlife habitat and provide opportunities for people to connect with nature close to home.”
Within that total, the bond’s local share program applies about $92 million toward parks and nature projects across the tri-county area.
On Wednesday, Metro Parks and Nature announced that a portion of local share dollars would go toward five recreational areas in Oregon.
The agency reports that $3 million will be used to add new amenities, such as more picnic and seating areas, to the Hoyt Arboretum to make it more ADA accessible. The arboretum will also resurface its Bristlecone Pine Trail and revamp its parking lot.
Portland Parks and Recreation will receive $2 million to replace outdated lights with new LED lighting along park pathways. Metro says the new lighting will be DarkSky-compliant, using less energy and improving the environment for wildlife.
An additional $2 million will help to enhance Rose City Golf Course’s pre-existing trails and to pave new trails. According to Metro, this project will give low-income residents better access to the golf course where they can get active or ‘connect with nature.’
The Whitaker Ponds Natural Area will be granted $600,000 to replace its wooden boardwalk with a new one that will give the community ADA-compliant access to the park’s two ponds.
Lastly, Metro will put $1.3 million toward acquiring 2.9-acre land in the Frog Pond West area in Wilsonville. The new land will connect to the Boeckman Creek Regional Trail and aims to provide safe routes to a Frog Pond School.
According to Metro Council President Lynn Peterson, these projects exhibit the effectiveness of the agency’s Local Share program.
“Local park jurisdictions can prioritize the work that is most important to their communities, and Metro’s bond funding can ensure the work moves forward quickly,” Peterson said. “In this way, we can work with partner agencies to make sure everyone in our region has safe and welcoming access to nature.”