There’s an old Greek proverb which still rings true today: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” What better place to find some shade than one of Portland’s many public parks?
At Portland Pedal Power, we recognize that we are incredibly lucky to live in a city that has over 10,000 acres of public parks, from one of the largest (Forest Park) to the world’s smallest (Mill Ends Park). Recently, Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz announced the acreage is going to grow even larger, with East Portland getting two brand new parks, one of which will provide some awesome cycling features!
According to Fritz, “two out of every five households do not have ready access to a city park” in East Portland, which is “in stark contrast to the rest of Portland where four out of every five households live within a half-mile of a park or natural area.” Altogether, these two new parks are going to give easy access to almost 1,800 new households!
Beech Park is going to be located on NE 126th and Beech, adjacent to Shaver Elementary School. One of the more interesting things about Beech Park is its plan to be a bicycle destination for local residents. Intertwining paths will connect between Fremont and Shaver, giving both young and old riders alike a safe path while improve bicycling connections. Furthermore, BikePortland.org writes there’s the possibility of a “Bicycle Pump Track,” allowing for some dirt-biking experiences you normally don’t find in a park. While a Pump Track is not currently in the works, Spokesman Mark Ross explained final say is going to be given to the community.
You can take a look at the Beech Park Master Plan (PDF Format) if you’re interested in more specific information about the park.
Gateway Park and Plaza is going to be located on NE 104th and Wasco. This park will be a bit smaller than Beech, and Fritz hopes it becomes “the heart of the community in the Gateway Urban Renewal Area”. While this park won’t feature the same kind of bicycle-specific aspects, Gateway will still have several new pathways and even a skate park for the adventuresome.
Are you one 1,800 people who get a new park in your backyard? Have some ideas you want implemented into these new parks? Give us your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter, and remember to contact Portland Parks and Recreation if you have any suggestions!