Peace Memorial Park Outreach

Peace Memorial Park Outreach Banner

By Joshua Baker

Image description: Photo collage with left image of a goat eating blackberries, top right image of 4 people cleaning up the park, bottom right image of park with people cleaning up park and a view of the city.

Over 10 years ago Veteran’s For Peace (VFP)  set out to promote the important message of peace and create a space honoring the victims of war, both civilian and military, with the dedication of Peace Memorial Park.  While the park originally did a great job honoring this message, the original landscaping, which utilized annuals and needed to be maintained and replanted regularly, proved difficult to upkeep. VFP then replaced the plantings from annuals to the heartier perennials that are at the site today. While these plants last longer, they still require maintenance or they become overgrown. Fast forward to 2019 when Lloyd EcoDistrict partnered with VFP after Executive Director, Sarah Heincke reached out to VFP member, Becky Luening, to partner on reactivating the space.

Since this partnership with VFP began, two work parties were organized to start the reclamation of the space. Once the ball was rolling, it was decided a redesign would be needed in order to bring the park back to its full glory. When contemplating what a redesign could look like, a few important components presented themselves. It was important that the park continued to promote the message of peace and honoring victims of war, both military and civilian. It was also a great opportunity to introduce pollinator-friendly native plants and extend the pollinator corridor to the waterfront. In doing this, the space could act as an important home to diverse plants and important insects, and help in constructing the pollinator corridor. To accomplish this goal, and add some real expertise, we teamed up with fellow Lloyd-based international nonprofit, the Xerces Society to identify and select plants that will ensure this area reaches its maximum potential as a pollinator rich environment.

 We also want the park to be easy to maintain and set up groups who would like to seasonally help weeding and maintenance. If being a part of Peace Memorial Park in this way is of interest to you, shoot us an email and we will put you on our volunteer list!

Knowing our objectives of re-establishing the message of peace, creating a diverse and pollinator-friendly space, and ensuring the work required will be manageable, we reached out to Model the Way Collaborator Award winner PLACE Studios to join the project team. PLACE was enthusiastic about the project from the beginning and loved the messaging and incorporation of promoting pollinators. They were gracious enough to provide us with three wonderful design options to present to the community. These design options are what you have been asked to provide feedback on! The three designs provided by PLACE do an excellent job of communicating Veterans for Peace’s original message, while also making the area inviting again.

Image description: Charles Brucker from PLACE presenting the design options during the Peace Memorial Park open house at the Portland DoubleTree.

Lloyd EcoDistrict knew from the start that the community’s perspectives would play an important role in how the park was redesigned. The collection of stakeholder input has taken place in a variety of ways and through different forms of outreach. Two of these events have been site visits, where we handed out granola bars and spoke with pedestrians and cyclists about what they were hoping to gain from the space. We have engaged with other community members through displays of the design options and 3 question response sheets located at 7 different buildings throughout Lloyd. For anyone who wasn’t able to make it to one of our events, the different schemes and a survey were live on our website.

During this time, we are finding common themes of what the community enjoys about each of the three designs, and determining how the park could best serve those who are frequent visitors. Once we have a final design option nailed down, we will be seeking funding in order to complete the project. If you are interested in donating to help make this project possible, please click here.

We have really enjoyed all the community interactions that have come from the collection of feedback and organized work parties. It has been very inspiring to see the support and enthusiasm from the community around this project and we look forward to announcing the final park design. Stay tuned for more updates!