Parks & Recreation

Celebrate Earth Day: Apr 19, 2008

04/19/2008 - 10:00am
04/19/2008 - 2:00pm
Earth Day 2008 Poster

Earth Day, Every Day!

Be part of the biggest Earth Day yet this April 19th

When: Saturday, April 19, 2008, 9:00AM - 2:00PM
Where: Gresham City Hall
1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway
Gresham, Oregon

Join your neighbors and the City of Gresham as we celebrate Earth Day 2008! Enjoy music and entertainment, vendor booths, recycling events, workshops, and more.

Activities & Events

Go green and celebrate the planet with these fun Earth Day games and activities! Find out what you can do to decrease climate change, plus ways to recycle at home or work.

Garden Clean-Up, City Hall: Mar 1, 2008

03/01/2008 - 8:00am
03/01/2008 - 1:00pm

Gresham City Hall Community Garden Clean Up

When: Saturday, March 1st, 2008 9:00AM - 1:00PM

Where: Gresham City Hall
1333 NW Eastman Parkway

Ready, set, weed! Spring is right around the corner and we'd like to clean up this site preparing it for another great year. Volunteers will help weed garden beds and pathways, turn compost bins, and pick up litter around the garden.

Welcome Spring! Gardening at Zimmerman Park: Mar 8, 2008

03/08/2008 - 9:00am
03/08/2008 - 2:00pm

Gardening at the Zimmerman House

When: Saturday March 8th, 2008 9:00AM - 2:00PM

Where: Zimmerman Park
17111 NE Sandy Blvd.

Take a step back into history by volunteering at the Zimmermann House. This 1874 farmhouse is a perfect reflection of typical Columbia River dairy farm life in the late 1800s. Volunteers are needed to weed and prune in the garden, which will contribute to the historical site overall beauty.

How should Gresham spend $5.4M Metro parks funds?

How should Gresham spend $5.4M Metro parks funds? Survey ends April 26, 2021. Info here! Click to enlarge.
PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Barbara Kinzie Christman is one of the residents who objects to the Headwaters project in Southwest Gresham. The 30-home development would require removal of 250 mature fir trees, which abutt a undeveloped park and two wetland areas.

Source: Gresham Outlook, April 8 2021
By Teresa Carson

Survey asks folks to rate 10 possible projects, buying Headwaters site is one option

The city of Gresham launched a survey on how to use its Metro parks funds, and depending on public input, could purchase the controversial proposed Headwaters housing development site for park land.

The survey opened Monday, April 5, and asks people's opinions on how to use the $5.4 million that Gresham is getting from the 2019 Metro Parks and Nature bond measure.

There are 10 proposed parks projects totaling $13 million. That's more than twice the funds available from the Metro bond. The survey asks folks to pick the three projects they see as most important.

"The mayor and City Council want to provide an opportunity for public input and want to hear how residents would like to see the city spend our "local share" of this money," said Elizabeth Coffey, Gresham's director of communications. The Headwaters property is included as one of 10 potential projects that could be purchased with these funds," "There are lots of competing needs for this $5.4 million, which is why it is critical that residents tune in and let us know what their priorities are," she added.

The $5.4 million can be used for parks or natural resources projects that boost access to nature, water quality, habitat and protect against climate change. The money cannot be spent on playgrounds, sports fields, recreation programs, pools or fountains.

City Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, May 4, to review the results of the public outreach and vote on disposition of the Metro funds, including potential purchase of the Headwaters property.

The proposed Headwaters development has stirred controversy in Gresham and beyond.

Development of the 7.82 acre tract would cut down a dense stand of more than 250 mature fir trees adjacent to a protected wetland area and park. The city approved the project and no appeal was filed.

Formerly owned by the late Helen Shaull, the wedge-shaped property is at 3535 W. Powell Blvd. It is about half-mile east of the Highland Fair shopping center.

The forested site is next to Fairview Creek headwaters, the undeveloped Southwest Community Park and near the Grant Butte Wetlands owned by the city of Gresham. The southwest portion of the site is a Habitat Conservation Area.

A project at Fujitsu Ponds is one of the 10 proposed uses for the $5.4 million in Metro bond funds. The city of Gresham has opened a survey for residents to rank the 10 projects in importance. Info here!
COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF GRESHAM - A project at Fujitsu Ponds is one of the 10 proposed uses for the $5.4 million in Metro bond funds. The city of Gresham has opened a survey for residents to rank the 10 projects in importance.

"The Shaull property would be a purchase, while all the other projects are for properties that the city already owns. If the Shaull property is not purchased by the city, it will be forever lost. The other parks projects may get money in the future," said Janet Unruh, who does not want to see the Headwaters development proceed.

In addition to the proposed Headwaters purchase, the other nine projects included in the survey are:

• Columbia View Park, 1000 N.E. 169th Ave. The city's $850,000 proposal calls for a nature play area, making trails accessible, a Columbia Gorge viewpoint and other improvements.

• Southeast Neighborhood Park, 3003 S.E. Barnes Road. Trails, picnic facilities, signs and a nature play area would be added to this 6.5 acre undeveloped park at a cost of $600,000.

• Jenne Butte Neighborhood Park, 2358 S.W. Border Way, would get a wetland viewpoint, trails, picnic facilities and more, for $1.2 million.

• East Gresham Neighborhood Park, 237 S.E. Williams Road, would get improvements such as signage, trails, picnic facilities and a nature play area at a cost of $650,000.

• Southeast Community Park, 5600 S.E. Salquist Road, would see soft and paved trails, picnic facilities, a restroom, nature play area, off-leash dog area, and more, at a price of $2 million.

• Southwest Community Park, 3333 West Powell Blvd., would get improvements that could include picnic areas, wetland viewing, trails community gardens, a restroom and more, at a cost of $2.25 million.

• Hogan Butte Nature Education Center, would purchase the undeveloped forest land north of Hogan Butte Nature Park, 757 S.E. Gabbert Road. A home on the property would become the accessible Nature Education Center to engage students in a native plant nursery and other operations. This would cost $700,000.

• Fujitsu Ponds, off Glisan Street near Salish ponds, would get improvements worth $1.75 million. The upgrades would eliminate warm water from going into these ponds, benefiting wildlife and reducing flooding risk. A public natural are would be created.

• Forest health recovery. The proposal is to spend $1 million on forest restoration and safety efforts all over Gresham.

SGS Development LLC, headquartered in Bend, bought the Shaull property for around $1 million and plans to develop the lots and sell the property to a builder to construct the 30 homes.

Chet Antonsen, of SGS Development, said Metro and Gresham had first right of refusal on the property and declined to buy it.

Another of the 10 proposals would spend $2 million on upgrades at Southeast Community Park, a 6. 5 acre undeveloped site on Southeast Barnes Road. Click to enlarge.
COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF GRESHAM - Another of the 10 proposals would spend $2 million on upgrades at Southeast Community Park, a 6. 5 acre undeveloped site on Southeast Barnes Road.

SGS is asking $2.5 million for the acreage now. The city would spend about $500,000 for improvements for a total cost of $3 million.

The proposed development unleashed a torrent of public comment and controversy. The city received many comments, all opposed to the Headwaters development, from local residents to the The Audubon Society of Portland.

John Bildsoe, vice president of the Coalition of Gresham Neighborhoods, wrote that arrowheads and other artifacts from Indigenous people have been found on the site.

After similar community pushback in 2014, SGS sold the Gantenbein Farm property at 2826 N.W. Division St. it planned to develop, to Metro, Gresham and the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD). That property is now the part of the Grant Butte Wetlands.

Take the survey
Share your thoughts on how the city could use its portion of Metro parks funds by taking a survey at:

For more information email: or leave a voicemail: 503-618-2145. Instructions will be in English and Spanish.

Paper surveys will be available upon request.

The survey is due by Monday, April 26.

Survey responses are limited to one per person. Duplicate submittals will be removed.

This story first appeared in The Outlook. Support community newspapers. Subscribe at

Gresham forms parks advisory committee

Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall

City hopes team can change decade of funding frustration, improve parks & recreation

Source: Gresham Outlook, March 19 2021
By Christopher Keizur

A decade ago, Travis Stovall joined a task force dedicated to seeking solutions for Gresham's parks funding woes.

The Green Ribbon Task Force was created in 2010 to address the need for sustainable parks funding within the city. After investigating various funding methods, the task force put forward its suggestion — a parks district in East Multnomah County.

The idea represented an exciting way to bolster parks and recreation that had been withering for years. The task force wanted the city to implement a $0.25 property tax levy to generate roughly $2.1 million a year. They spoke of Gresham partnering with Fairview, Wood Village and Troutdale, which would have resulted in an annual payment of $31 to $53 for the average home in East Multnomah County.

But that idea was never put before voters as a ballot measure to save parks, with city officials citing a lack of support from the public. Thus, the city effectively ignored the work done by the Green Ribbon Task Force.

"I was disappointed they didn't move forward with the ideas," said Stovall, who has since been elected as mayor of Gresham. "At this point, we need multiple opportunities for council to work with and think of initiatives that would lead to (parks) ballot measures."

Now 10 years later, Gresham is convening another green team to investigate potential solutions to stop the continued hemorrhaging of parks and recreation.

During a Tuesday morning, March 16, meeting, Gresham City Council helped plan the Parks Community Advisory Group. The team would have up to 30 members, with a broad representation of the community and members who live or work in Gresham. The city wants to have 30% of participants be Black, Indigenous or people of color.

The Parks Community Advisory Group would create a vision and options for the future of Gresham parks and recreation — including two or three funding options and mechanisms to support them in an effort to avoid the failure the last time this was attempted.

"We really want to make sure council's expectations are clear to this group to avoid any frustrations," said Steve Fancher, director of environmental services and city operations.

The city hopes to find participants for the Parks Community Advisory Group in the coming weeks, and will be recruiting from local organizations and communitites.

This story first appeared in The Outlook. Support community newspapers. Subscribe at

Youth gardeners cultivate Gresham park

Nonprofit Play Grow Learn celebrates youth-oriented efforts at Nadaka Nature Park. Info here!
PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall celebrated the youths maintaining Nadaka Nature Park during a visit Thursday morning, March 11.

Source: Gresham Outlook, March 16 2021
By Christopher Keizur

Nonprofit Play Grow Learn celebrates youth-oriented efforts at Nadaka Nature Park

When the winter ice storm hit East Multnomah County earlier this year, it wreaked havoc on a popular Rockwood greenspace.

Nadaka Nature Park had been buffeted by rain, sleet, snow and high-winds. Branches fell across the 10-acre property, young trees had been uprooted, pathways destroyed, and the community garden was a mess.

But for the youths who have been working at Nadaka for the past year, the damage was not daunting. Instead they rolled up their sleeves, grabbed their shovels, and got to work.

"This park is beautiful," said 19-year-old Rico Garland. "We all care about it and helping our community."

Twice a week, 20 youths have been working at Nadaka Nature Park, 17615 N.E. Glisan St., through the nonprofit Play Grow Learn. They plant, weed, and clean the park to ensure it remains a safe and fun place for local families to visit.

The Play Grow Learn youths, ages 15-24, all receive a stipend for their work, and are helping fill the gaps in Gresham when it comes to funding and maintaining parks. For those kids, Play Grow Learn led to the first time they had ever visited Nadaka, despite it being in their community.

"They want to work and take ownership of the park," said Germaine Flentroy, program coordinator with Play Grow Learn. "All it takes is one opportunity."

Now, if not for the youths, the state of Nadaka would be in a much more dire place.

"I'm so grateful (they) are helping maintain this park, because the city isn't able to," said Lee Dayfield, the creative force behind Nadaka.

The youths led Gresham leaders on a tour of everything they have accomplished at Nadaka in the past year. Click to enlarge.
PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - The youths led Gresham leaders on a tour of everything they have accomplished at Nadaka in the past year.

On Thursday, March 11, those kids were able to showcase their hard work to Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall, who visited Nadaka to learn more about Play Grow Learn's efforts.

The mayor walked along a newly constructed path through the wooded area, toured the gardens where community members are learning to grow their own healthy produce, and admired the dozens of trees that have been planted. He even got a lesson on how to propagate new plants from cuttings.

"What Play Grow Learn is accomplishing here is incredibly important and impressive," Stovall said. "The best part was listening to their passion about planting trees."

The tour was also a chance for the youths to connect with the new leader of their city. Many were excited to meet "someone famous," and used the opportunity to speak with Stovall about what their communities need.

And of course, they were proud to show Stovall all that has been accomplished at Nadaka.

"Do you see that — we planted those trees," Garland said.

Fund-amental problem

For many years it has been the same song, different tune in Gresham — the city does not have the funding to support parks.

The problems began two decades ago with a pair of ballot measures passed in Gresham that hamstrung the city's ability to fund greenspaces.

Mayor Travis Stovall spoke about the need to find funding mechanisms for Greshams parks. Click to enlarge.
PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Mayor Travis Stovall spoke about the need to find funding mechanisms for Greshams parks.

The votes set a permanent property tax that was the second lowest in the state.

In 1990, Gresham's property taxes paid for 100% of police and fire services. Now, those taxes are only able to foot 40% of those expenses. And the lion's share goes to public safety, leaving parks to wither.

"It's about funding mechanisms to get our parks to a new level," Stovall said.

One solution would be to form a parks district, which the city is investigating with a feasibility study. The district would have the power to construct, reconstruct, alter, enlarge, operate and maintain lakes, parks, recreation grounds and buildings; acquire necessary lands; and to call necessary elections after being formed.

But it is difficult to implement, and necessitates city leadership lessening control over greenspaces and a successful public vote. Other solutions include a new parks utility fee; increasing the existing Police-Fire-Parks fee; or vying for an Operations Levy/Bond Measure, which would collect from property taxes.

A group within the community, including Dayfield and other leaders at Nadaka, have also requested participatory budgeting when it comes to parks, which allows for community input in how to spend funds.

"Years ago the city had to cut parks and recreation programs, which was really hard on the community," said Keri Handaly, who works with the Nadaka kids through Gresham's water resources division. "Programs like Play Grow Learn help bring back those needed services."

While there are no easy answers, the work being done by youths at Nadaka highlight a potential future for the city's parks.

"We are doing the stuff that otherwise isn't going to get done, and showing the city what can be accomplished with a shoestring budget," said Anthony Bradley, executive director of Play Grow Learn.

Seeking support

Play Grow Learn youths are filling in the gaps at Nadaka Nature Park. Click to enlarge.
PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Play Grow Learn youths are filling in the gaps at Nadaka Nature Park.

Play Grow Learn is thriving at Nadaka thanks to a coalition of partners all coming together.

Friends of Nadaka lends guidance and has continued its ambassador program.

Vanessa Chambers and Rhonda Combs continuing oversight at the park, tidying the playground and ensuring the space remains safe and welcome to the many families who visit.

City staff and Friends of Trees visit to provide expertise; Adam Kohl and Outgrowing Hunger operate the community garden and assist in securing grants; East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District provides funding; and Metro Regional Government and East County Rising both have backed the nonprofit organization.

The latest partnership is with PGE Project Zero, which will send two interns this summer to help Play Grow Learn at Nadaka.

"The program connects young folks with meaningful employment," Taaj Armstrong, cohort dean for Project Zero's green jobs internship program. "We are so excited to partner with Play Grow Learn."

But everything Play Grow Learn is accomplishing remains on unstable ground.

"This all could be gone tomorrow," Flentroy said. "We are surviving on short-term grants and solutions."

Play Grow Learn requires more support to keep going, and they hope the visit from Mayor Stovall might signal future backing from the city of Gresham. The nonprofit organization needs more stable funding and in-kind support to continue teaching youths skills and keeping them out of dangerous situations.

"I believe the support is out there," Bradley said.

If they can secure it, Play Grow Learn has a bright vision for Gresham. They want similar programs in every East Multnomah County park, with teams of teens caring for greenspaces, learning valuable skills, and finding future employment opportunities.

"We all have to do our part to represent and teach kids of color," Flentroy said.

Support Play Grow Learn
To volunteer or provide donations to Play Grow Learn to back its efforts to teach youths valuable skills, email Anthony Bradley or Germaine Flentroy

This story first appeared in The Outlook. Support community newspapers. Subscribe at

Wilkes East Neighborhood, 2020 Fall Meeting: Mon Nov 09, 2020 7PM-8:30PM

11/09/2020 - 7:00pm
11/09/2020 - 8:30pm
Wilkes East Neighborhood 2020 Fall Meeting: Mon Nov 09, 2020 7PM-8:30PM. Everyone's invited! Join your Neighbors. Get involved. Make a difference! Online meeting via Zoom. Info here!

Watch for these red & white Meeting Signs the week before our meeting.

Fall Meeting Notice

When: Mon Nov 09, 2020 7PM-8:30PM
Where: Online meeting via Zoom

Click here to Join Meeting

Meeting ID: 552 671 8670
Passcode: #Neighbors

Neighborhood Meeting, Everyone's Invited

Join Your Neighbors. Get involved. Make a difference!

Save the date
Be sure to save Monday, Nov 9th at 7PM for the Wilkes East Neighborhood 2020 Fall Meeting. The meeting will be held online via Zoom meeting.


  • Robin Sells, Gresham Chief of Police
  • Emily Bower, Executive Dir, City of Gresham Redevelopment, Downtown Rockwood
  • Election of Officers
  • Lee Dayfield, Parks Advocate, Progress report to get a Parks District for Gresham
  • Neighborhood news and more

Dial-in Zoom
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 552 671 8670
Passcode: 5705607294

Seeking Board Members.   Are you motivated, passionate, creative?
Did you know you can become a Member-at-Large at any time? Being a Board Member is a great opportunity and experience for any neighbor, whether you’ve been on a board before or you're considering the idea for the first time. No experience required. Nominate yourself. Info here! or contact any board member. Get involved! Make a difference!

Who should attend?
Participation is open to all residents who live, own property or a business, organization, church or government agency within our boundaries

Be Part Of Your Community. Plan To Attend.

The Wilkes East Neighborhood is located in the northwest corner of the City of Gresham, Oregon, and is one of Gresham's sixteen neighborhoods. Wilkes East Neighborhood borders are roughly NE Sandy Blvd to the north, NE 181st Ave to the east, NE Glisan St to the south, and NE 162nd Ave to the west. Get map!.

Wilkes East Neighborhood Meeting Signs. Info here!

Watch for these red & white Meeting Signs the week before our meeting. The signs were purchased with assistance of the City of Gresham Neighborhood Grant Program, and with volunteer hours to set them out and retrieve them. Signs Now NW also made a generous contribution to this project.

Mark your calendar. See you there!

Questions or comments?
Contact Wilkes East Neighborhood by email at, or by postal mail to: Wilkes East Neighborhood, 17104 NE Oregon St, Portland Oregon 97230

Parks Virtual Informational Online Open House #2: Tue, Sep 22, 2020 6PM-7PM

09/22/2020 - 6:00pm
09/22/2020 - 7:00pm
Parks Virtual Informational Online Open House #2: Tue, Sep 22, 2020 6PM-7PM . Info here!

Get Invloved, Make a Difference

When: Tue, Sep 22, 2020 6PM-7PM
Where: Online meeting via Zoom

Join us for a virtual open house, to be held with two separate one-hour Zoom sessions that fit your schedule.

We'll review:

  • Community feedback on six park concept plan designs
  • Concept plan report outlining potential enhancements for Gresham's six undeveloped parks, which aim to reflect the needs of each neighborhood and the overall Gresham community while also protecting access to nature

A vital part of the City's planning process is hearing from the community, to ensure all voices are heard. Since early 2019, Gresham residents have provided input through online surveys as well as on-site and virtual events. The concepts aim to meet the current and future demands of Gresham's growing population. They also outline financial needs for developing the parks in the future if funding is identified.

A Zoom link to register for this event will be posted soon.

For questions about this event, contact Tina Osterink, Natural Resource Planner at or 503-618-2392.

Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2020 Zoom Meeting Info

Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2020 Zoom Meeting. Info here!

Time: Aug 10, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join by PC

▼ Join Zoom Meeting by clicking the link below ▼

  • When the dialogue box appears click "Open Zoom Meetings".
  • Wait for the Video Preview window to open.
  • Click the Join button that's right for you!

Meeting ID: 552 671 8670
Passcode: WENA_Aug

Some helpful hints:

  • Join the meeting early and mingle with your neighbors!
  • If you have a camera choose 'Join with Video' so everyone can see you!
  • If you don't have a camera no worries, choose "Join without Video".
  • If you have a 'flip phone' or standard telephone please use "Join by Phone" below.
  • If you can't hear ANYONE most likely the volume on your actual computer is turned down (not in the Zoom app).
  • If you are having audio issues and can't communicate via sound, you can click on the Chat button (bottom center of screen) to share a message with the host.
  • New to Zoom? The web browser client will download automatically when you start or join your first Zoom meeting, and is also available for manual download here (in case you'd like to install it before the meeting).

Join by Mobile

One tap mobile
+13462487799,,5526718670#,,,,,,0#,,76697192# US (Houston)
+16699006833,,5526718670#,,,,,,0#,,76697192# US (San Jose)

Join by Phone

Dial by your location
    +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
    +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
    +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
    +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
    +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
    +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

Meeting ID:552 671 8670
Passcode: 76697192

Find your local number:

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2020 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2020 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

2020 Summer Newsletter

"Diversity, Harmony, Community -
Together 'WE' can make a difference!”

Read it now!

Summer 2020 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • An Inclusive Neighborhood
  • Columbia View Park Concept
  • Nature-Deficit Disorder
  • Coping During the Pandemic
  • Importance of Our Parks
  • Albertina Kerr Housing Update

Download your copy here. (includes active web links)

Newsletters are a regular publication of the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association. They are hand-delivered to over 1,500 residences and businesses in our area 3 times per year, timed to correspond with our regular meetings.

View archive   |   Policy & Ad Rates

Got a story or tip to share?
Wilkes East residents are encouraged to submit articles and tips for the newsletter. Articles should be limited to 300-500 words and may be subject to editing Include a related photo. Send by email to, or by postal mail to: 17104 NE Oregon St • Portland OR 97230.

Volunteers Needed
Newsletters are hand-delivered to Wilkes East residents and businesses by neighborhood volunteers. There are always routes that need delivery people. Routes are small and many. We can always use your help.
To volunteer contact

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