Peace Memorial Park Gets a Much Needed Refresh!

26-IMG_2128

By Joshua Baker

Saturday, May 18, 2019. More than 30 volunteers from Lloyd District’s businesses, nonprofits, residential communities and organizations gather together to transform the neighborhood’s Peace Memorial Park just next to the Steel Bridge.

Veterans for Peace Chapter 72 of Portland, the founding organization of the park and its supporters since 2006, partnered with Lloyd EcoDistrict volunteers from Wells Fargo, Go Lloyd, Koch Landscape Architects, and others, with tools provided by the NE Portland Tool Library, to revitalize this hub of commuter traffic and city life. The Peace Memorial Park cleanup effort is part of Lloyd EcoDistrict’s broader neighborhood-wide effort of Pollinator Placemaking.  Saturday’s event was the first phase in a three-stage project to revitalize the park as part of Lloyd EcoDistrict’s Pollinator Corridor. This transformation began with Saturday’s initial cleanup and will involve a community-orchestrated and approved redesign of the park and replanting of colorful, pollinator-supporting perennials in place of hard-to-maintain annuals. Pollinator spaces like those we have created in parking strips, bike corridors, and corporate-owned spaces in our EcoDistrict are critical to our natural environment, food supply, and health.

Few of our neighbors have enjoyed this space because it has become overgrown since its initial creation 12 years ago. Lloyd EcoDistrict is excited that our community cleanup events raise consciousness on the importance of pollinators and green spaces among citizens from outside the neighborhood. Portlanders stopped by the event on their bikes, while waiting for transfers at the Moda Center Tri-Met hub, and while walking the Eastbank Esplanade on this sunny Saturday, and were touched and engaged by the volunteer work taking place there.

As Lloyd EcoDistrict moves into the second phase of the Peace Memorial Park revitalization, we are planning a redesign of the park with current partners and reaching out to other community members. This design will incorporate the Peace symbol and will also be a space the community can more easily and joyfully maintain.

This will be a community informed design process, so please stay tuned — when design proposals are finished, Lloyd EcoDistrict will welcome your input at a public outreach event and on our website.

In July, there will be another cleanup event to further revitalize the park. In the coming months, PLACE Landscape Architecture will put several proposed designs for the park forward, and Lloyd EcoDistrict will host a community forum during which attendees will choose the best design through a popular vote. After this design is selected, the final step for Lloyd EcoDistrict and our partners will be to create the park as designed and maintain it with community support. Save the date for future work parties in November and February!

This collaborative effort demonstrates the potential of our community to improve the accessibility, beauty, and economic appeal of our spaces through fun and engaging teamwork. Lloyd EcoDistrict received support from the Oregon Metro regional government, Portland Parks and Recreation, and the Portland Bureau of Transportation in removing any garbage, hazardous materials, and yard debris before and after the event. Portland Parks and Recreation also provided bark mulch used to redefine the “peace symbol” and on-site temporary restrooms. The Portland Bureau of Transportation collaborated on site planning and advised the EcoDistrict team on next steps for creation of a clean, safe space for public use.

Lloyd EcoDistrict’s goals in leading the cleanup effort are to promote its use as a livable, open, equitable and pleasant environment that supports local pollinators (i.e. bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds). These pollinators actively support plant growth, reproduction, and genetic diversity. They actively improve our air quality, beautify our spaces, and fill the spring air with fragrance! We greatly appreciate all of the support from our community and the different groups that are collaborating with us on this effort.

As with everything Lloyd EcoDistrict does, the Peace Memorial Park makeover initiative will serve many purposes through a single effort: community building, placemaking, pollinator nurturing, environmental education, bike and pedestrian support, and biophilia.

We hope you will join us in changing our district for the better!

Stay tuned for more exciting news and updates by subscribing to our newsletter!

Subscribe here!