Opinion

Now, more than ever, wisely enjoy and invest in Gresham's parks

Metro-approved parks funding should not be used as an excuse by the city of Gresham to reduce parks funding. Info here!
Lee Dayfield

Lee Dayfield says Metro-approved parks funding should not be used as an excuse by the city of Gresham to reduce parks funding.

Meanwhile, stay-at-home orders ask that you only venture out for essential needs. Notably, access to public parks for exercise and fresh air while still practicing social distancing is among those allowed needs, and for good reasons.

Source: Pamplin Media Group
Thursday, April 16, 2020

If you have been out and about in our local parks and trails this past week you might have noticed how many of your neighbors are doing the same. It is not just the improving weather.

The pandemic has put a renewed premium on proximity to parks and nature. For those of us fortunate enough to have high quality public greenspace nearby, the value is especially self-evident. But long before this pandemic, research has demonstrated what people know intuitively: access to parks and nature is no simple frill or amenity, but an essential determinant of individual and community health.

Unfortunately, Gresham's City budget has made parks a low priority in recent years. Park investments made by Gresham voters a generation ago have not kept pace. To be sure, our community has many volunteers and private donors who make some parks shine.

Friends of Nadaka and the Gresham Japanese Garden are effectively harnessing volunteers and private donations; Ricki Ruiz continues to secure grants to develop futsal courts; and North Gresham Neighborhood Association is poised to build a playground at Kirk Park funded primarily through private donations.

However significant, these isolated projects belie systemic divestment. In recent years, fewer and fewer general fund dollars have gone to parks and recreation. Gresham's almost non-existent recreation programming leaves vital services to underfunded nonprofit organization like Gresham-based Play Grow Learn, which mentors at-risk adolescents using nature-play, urban gardening and athletics in our parks. Relying on nonprofits, grants, private donations, and the generosity of volunteers is not a sustainable path to a vibrant thriving parks and recreation system that bolsters our health and prosperity.

We can do a lot better.
Today, as the fourth largest city in Oregon, Gresham has the lowest per-capita investment in local parks and recreation in the Metro region.

In a hopeful turn, the majority of Gresham voters passed Metro's regional parks and nature funding measure in November 2019. The measure will infuse some additional capital funds into Gresham's local parks system. Public officials should not use that as an excuse to backfill further cuts to parks. Now is the time to launch a parks feasibility study of new local investment options and to give the community greater voice and vote in decisions with innovative tools like participatory budgeting.

As federal stimulus funds become available, Gresham would be wise to creatively invest in the city's backlog in park stewardship and deficient parks programming while putting people to work. The Nadaka Ambassador Program, which employs Rockwood residents to steward the park and garden, is a great model.

In these difficult and uneasy times, we must not lose sight of the value of stewarding our parks and nature which, now more than ever, are helping keep us healthy and connected.

Lee Dayfield is a parks advocate. In 2009, Friends of Nadaka, with Dayfield at the helm, organized the purchase and development of Nadaka Nature Park.

Nadaka Nature Park, lifting spirits with its peace and beauty. A letter of appreciation.

"A tranquil place in the heart of the suburbs"

Nadaka Nature Park, lifting spirits with its peace and beauty. A tranquil place in the heart of the suburbs, this lovely little park feels so 'Oregon'.
Nadaka Nature Park, Gresham OR
Click to enlarge

This lovely little park feels so Oregon

We received this letter from a Gresham resident expressing the uplifting effect Nadaka Nature Park has on their life and the lives of others, and we though we'd share it with you...

June 17, 2011
To whom it may concern:

I am a person who appreciates and uses Nadaka park. I remember when the Camp Fire girls enjoyed day camp there and was pleased when the the park became available for public use.

My husband and I have walked the loop with our dog. What a tranquil place in the heart of the suburbs.

The park is close to my mother's Alzheimer's home, Pacific Gardens. I have noticed employees from P.G. taking their lunch breaks there. Their job is anything but peaceful. The proximity of the south gate of the park really helps them regenerate their positive spirit quickly so they can do the second half of their shifts.

The Gresham Outlook Newspaper Celebrate Its 100th Birthday

Tagged:  
The Gresham Outlook Newspaper, Celebrating 100 Years of Excellence; March 3, 1911-2011

Local newspaper holds
Open House, celebrates 100 years as the source for
East County news

By Paul Glenn, Capri Terrace resident

Our local community newspaper held an Open House on March 11, 2011 celebrating 100 years as a twice weekly publication; reporting news and events which effect and are of interest to the folks who live in our town.

Reynolds Tomorrow 2011-12 Budget Survey Now Open For A Limited Time

Reynolds Tomorrow Survey Now Available For A Limited Time. Info here!

Already signed-up?
Not yet invited? Sign-up again

Next year's budget cuts estimated at $6 to $8.2 million

District wants your online survey feedback for proposed 2011-12 budget

The Reynolds Tomorrow survey is now open for a limited time.
Don't miss this opportunity to let the school district know your opinion on these important budget issues.

Come On People, Do Your Part. So far only a couple hundred of you have signed up. To those who have - thank you for participating. To those who haven't - what are you waiting for? We can and must do better than this people. The school board is asking for our help. Take the survey today. Help your school board make the best budget decisions possible. Tell the board what's important to you. If you don't take the survey, don't complain when you disagree with the tough choices that will be made. ED

Haven't received your invitation yet?
If you signed-up to participate and have not yet received an email inviting you to take the survey you can click here to signed up again. It appears there may have been a problem with some registrations. ED

The survey is part of a program called “Reynolds Tomorrow: Tough Choices – Smart Decisions,” information about which can be found on the ReynoldsTomorrow.com website. Individual responses are confidential. Survey results will be combined and shared with you and other members of our community.

Based on the latest estimates the Reynolds School District expects to face budget cuts of $6 to $8.2 million for the next school year.

Measure 49: Our chance to fix 37's flaws


Yes on 49


Measure 49:
Our one chance to protect what's special about Oregon

Dear Fellow Oregonian:

When you think of Oregon, what comes to mind?

  • Is it rolling farmland that supports an astonishing array of agricultural products?
  • Is it our majestic forests and clear, clean water?
  • Is it our spectacular coastline, with beaches that belong to all of us?
  • Or is it the fact that all these things combine to give us a quality of life that has disappeared from so many other places?

If these things are as important to you as they are to us, we invite you to visit the "Yes on 49" website.

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