Peace Memorial Park Year in Review

Image of Peace Memorial Park

By Joshua Baker

Peace Memorial Park was a largely forgotten space that Lloyd EcoDistrict – along with a diverse coalition of veterans, students, and community members – are transforming into a celebration of unity. 2021 was a busy year for us at the park, as we hosted a variety of events and volunteer days, and made significant progress in raising funds to break ground next year on the physical redesign of the space. Much of our on-the-ground work involved cleaning up trash and organic debris to keep the park vibrant and safe. In total, we had five clean up events with 226 volunteers who put in (cumulatively) 445.5 hours of their time to clean up the park. With their help, we were able to pick up 5,133 pounds of trash and 32 bags of organic debris. We wanted to take this time to also thank SOLVE for helping us achieve a cleaner park and we also wanted to thank the Oregon Convention Center for taking the time to dispose of the trash we collected. 

We had a lot of events throughout the year at Peace Memorial Park and here are some of the highlights!

  1. In the spring we removed a large patch of Himalayan/Armenian Blackberry, an invasive plant that poses a threat. The plant is unfortunately also the most widespread in the Pacific Northwest. Not only does it cost millions to maintain and control agricultural areas, forests, and right-of-ways, but it also poses a threat to riparian habitats and displaces native species. This invasive removal would have also not been possible without a grant from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. We were excited to hire the Ground Score Association, who provide job opportunities for our housing insecure neighbors, to remove over 1000 lbs of trash from the blackberry bush area so that we could get the work done. Read more here
  2. On Memorial Day, we also were a part of the Rose Festival Porch Parade which welcomed more than 400 homes and gardens this year to its city-wide event. We partnered with Irene Ramirez, a local artist, to create a beautiful art piece with chalk at Peace Memorial Park. Members from the local Veterans For Peace chapter join us later in the day for their annual Memorial Day event to bring attention to their “Leave No One Behind” mural project, where the organization works to uplift the stories of veterans who have been deported. Read more here.
  3. In the summer, we screened “Plants Have Wings” with a discussion from a panelist on pollinator conservation. In the film, director Rose Madrone follows the efforts of an inspired young bicycle activist who is working hard to protect the Monarch Butterfly and uses this as a means to educate about the importance of protecting pollinators. Backing up this call to action we were joined with experts David Kollen from the Xerces Society and Janet Gifford from the Backyard Habitat Certification Program. David came armed with his knowledge of specifically bee conservation, and explained to the audience the drastic effect even a small pollinator garden can have on pollinators. Read more here

This would not have been possible, nor would we be able to even think about breaking ground on the full park redesign in 2022 without the work from our volunteers and our Friends of Peace Memorial Park. With their donations and support, we were able to start a vision on the redevelopment of the park. See all of our friends here. We also wanted to thank the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services Community Watershed Stewardship Program and Union Pacific Foundation’s Community Ties Program for the significant grants that were awarded to us to break ground on the improvements in 2021. At our 10th Anniversary Celebration, many sponsors around the neighborhood came together to also help fundraise for Peace Memorial Park. Special thanks to all of our donors and volunteers, we couldn’t have it without you all!

Looking forward to 2022, we will continue our regular neighborhood cleanups based out of Peace Memorial Park. Our next cleanup will be on February 12, 2022! You can register here. We will also break ground Phase 1 improvements to the park, focusing on the 3,285 square feet of Peace circle. We will scrape the site, install a new efficient irrigation system, add new soil and mulch, and plant 1000 native, pollinator-supporting plants.

Image of Peace Memorial Park's next steps in redevelopment

In 2023 we will focus on Phase 2 of the redesign – the other landscapable parts of the park, and in 2024 we will move on the hardscaping, adding interpretive signage, and art.

Image of Peace Memorial Park vision