Today marks the official opening of the Pearl District’s largest park, The Fields Neighborhood Park. The celebration started at 12:00 PM (noon) and lasted about one hour. Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Director, Mike Abbate, presented the park to the citizens of Portland with pride. He was accompanied by City Commissioner Nick Fish, Hoyt Street Properties Tiffany Sweitzer, and Portland Development Commissioner Aneshka Dickson.
The Feilds Neighborhood Park is one of four parks in the Portland River District Park System Urban Design Framework Study, from July 2001. We’re all familiar with the other two Pearl District Parks; Tanner Springs Park and Jamison Square. The plan includes one more park, potentially on the riverfront somewhere. When asked about this additional park, Portland Parks & Recreation says, “The Portland Development Commission (PDC) is planning the development of Centennial Mills.” Although, many of today’s presenters asserted The Fields is the final park for the Pearl District.
Pearl District Celebration
The Fields Neighborhood Park’s grand opening kicked off at high noon, marked by a proud dedication presentation by Mike Abbate, Director of Portland Parks & Recreation. City Commissioner Nick Fish, Tiffany Sweitzer of Hoyt Street Properties, and Portland Development Commissioner Aneshka Dickson were also in attendance and spoke briefly. The native American blessing was thoughtful, and poetry by Dr. Barry Sanders was also shared.
The Fields is comprised of four distinctive areas: the Yard, the Dog Park, the Children’s Playground, and the Dry Creek Garden. Each unique section is designed to promote civic purpose, communal connection, and sustainable recognition among park patrons.
Mike Abbate, spoke of “Rave reviews,” about the new park. Many photographers took to the park for photos. Aneshka Dickson, said “the Pearl District has become an international success story,” because of projects such as the Fields Neighborhood Park. Others talked about what has made the neighborhood such a success; the partnerships between private developers and the city. Overall, the presentation was fulfilling.
Pearl District Park: The Yard
The Yard is designed for large group gatherings and activities, perfect for picnics, ultimate Frisbee, and public movie nights. Outlining the Yard is a soft-walking path, good for your knees. While dogs are allowed in the Yard, they are generally encouraged to stay on the leashes, as they are allowed off the leash at . . .
The Dog Park! The Dog Park features a fenced-in playground with three foot high fences, and soft yellow gravel designed for comfort and cleanliness. The Urbanology Trail sprawls across the northern border of the Dog Park and the Fields, perfect for long walks with canine or human companions. PP&R stated that private developers would be responsible for future expansion of the Urbanology Trail, as well as the fate of the temporary dog park currently in place, as Hoyt owns most of the outlying property. The temporary dog park appeared to be locked up from visitors already.
Speaking of chips, kids can play in comfort at the Children’s Playground, coated with soft bark chips. Unlike at the Dog Park, Children’s Park visitors are encouraged to use a bathroom provided courtesy of the Portland Loo, an award winning sustainable community project.
Over one hundred trees line Dry Creek Garden, creating a sense of natural serenity in the heart of the Pearl District. During those rare rainy Portland days, Dry Creek Garden’s dry beds regulate rain water, relegating hydration for locally sourced flora and fauna.
We would like to thank all the folks responsible for the project. Everyone from PDC, Portland Parks & Recreation, Hoyt Street Properties, and anyone else in between. We can’t thank Tiffany Sweitzer (and her family) enough the for kind donation of the land.