2016 News

Beech Park is now Luuwit View Park (pronounced loo-WIT)

Spread on 16 acres adjacent to Shaver Elementary School in northeast Portland’s Argay neighborhood, Luuwit View Park will feature a soccer field and basketball court, accessible play and picnic areas, shelters, restroom, parking, community gardens, a fenced off-leash dog area, a teen area with a climbing structure and two ping pong tables, and foot and bike paths with expansive views – including a majestic vista of Luuwit (the Native American name for the iconic Mt. St. Helens).

The park’s name helps to honor the indigenous people who first lived on the land, and to recognize the overall history of the area. 

“The name ‘Luuwit View Park’ holds meaning on many different levels”, says Cary Watters, a member of the Tlingit Tribe and of the park naming committee. “The fact that this park’s name is a Native [Chinook Wawa] word, and that it honors the traditional way in which our people named places, is a huge step forward in healing – not only for the Native community, but for the land and the at-large community.”

Portland Parks & Recreation solicited park names through October 2015, from neighbors via public meetings, the PP&R website and emails to community stakeholders. Potential names were weighed according to the vision and goals for each park and the guidelines stipulated in the Portland Parks & Recreation naming policy. Luuwit View Park received nine name submissions.

“A key milestone in the development of a new project is the name that the park will be known by for generations to come, says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté.

“Recommending an appropriate name was difficult, but ultimately we enjoyed a rewarding outcome,” says Nina Palacios, a member of the Luuwit View naming committee. “I’m excited about the new park, one we’ve been eagerly anticipating for so long.  I volunteer at the adjacent Shaver School, and the kids there are bursting with anticipation for their new park!  I very much appreciate being a part of the naming process.”

PP&R thanks the volunteers who served on park naming committees, comprising area neighbors, community advocates, representatives of traditionally underserved communities, and volunteers recruited and appointed by Commissioner Fritz and PP&R Director Mike Abbaté. Additionally, the Bureau thanks the Argay Terrace Neighborhood Association for their participation and support in the design and naming processes.

Luuwit View Park will serve 965 nearby households. 49% of these households are racial and ethnic minorities, and 23% are experiencing poverty.

“In east Portland, two out of every five households do not have easy access to a City park. That 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” says Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who designated Luuwit View Park for development after careful consideration of community input.

PROJECT SCHEDULE

  • July 2014 – RFP for design is issued
  • October 2014 – Hire design team
  • October 2014 – May 2016 – Complete design and public involvement process
  • June 2016 – Fall 2017 – Construction
  • Fall 2017 – Park Grand Opening

PROJECT BACKGROUND Luuwit View Park consists of two parcels that are adjacent to single-family residences, working farmlands, and Shaver Elementary School. Located in outer northeast Portland between Shaver and Fremont, the site has a long history of being farmed, and is currently a gently sloping open grassy field with grand views of the Columbia River floodplain.

During 2008/2009 Portland Parks & Recreation, in collaboration with local residents and a Public Advisory Committee, developed a park master plan. The design of the park will preserve views, reflect the farming history and context, manage storm water on site, and provide buffers from adjacent land uses.

The north parcel (5.64 acres) of the site will act as a neighborhood park and features a children’s playground, a gathering space, a parking area, and a fenced dog off-leash area.

The south parcel (10.07 acres) will incorporate more active and passive open space uses including a shelter, a full-size sports field, display and community gardens, picnic areas, parking, natural play, and an area of high intensity sports. In addition, a multi-use paved trail loops around the entire site, and public art and bilingual interpretive signage will be incorporated into key areas such as the unique center point where the two parcels connect.

The park construction cost is estimated at $7.8 million and will be paid for from the Parks System Development Charges which is separate from General Fund tax dollars.

Project Manager Britta Herwig, britta.herwig@portlandoregon.gov

Public Involvement Coordinator Hun Taing, hun.taing@portlandoregon.gov             ——————————————————————-

Challenges Remain

As Portland Parks & Recreation commits to new parks in communities where none currently exist – and to expanding other parks – many existing parks are at a crossroads. For decades, PP&R operating funding has been cut or remained flat, forcing the Bureau to postpone rehabilitation and maintenance in every neighborhood throughout the City. Despite the 2014 Parks Replacement Bond, passed by voters with overwhelming support, the list of needs across the PP&R system is huge, and grows every year that we don’t address it. PP&R has anticipated unfunded maintenance needs totaling nearly $250 million over the next 10 years. The beautiful parks we love to visit are being held together by thousands of volunteers and wonderful employees going above and beyond the call of duty.

System Development Charges, the funding being used to create Luuit View Park, in east Portland (not General Fund tax dollars) are restricted to expanding capacity only. SDCs cannot be used to maintain or repair existing facilities. It is also insufficient to fully address the hundreds of park projects needed by our rapidly growing neighborhoods – an additional need of approximately $472 million over the next ten years.

 

GROUNDBREAKING CELEBRATION FOR LUUWIT PARK WAS HELD JUNE 4,

http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/579216 provides a rendering of the park’s water spray feature.

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Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Mayor Charlie Hales, and Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz attended the groundbreaking. The celebration was open to the public and included cake, a Native American blessing ceremony, and special guest speakers.

“The groundbreaking of Luuwit View Park represents another major milestone in my time as the Commissioner for Portland Parks & Recreation,” says Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “Right now only 2 of 5 residents enjoy easy access to a park in this area of east Portland. Luuwit View will allow Argay Terrace neighbors to enjoy new options for play, relaxation and reflection that they have been awaiting for more than 40 years. I commend our neighborhood partners for their vision and tenacity.”

“It is extremely exciting to see Luuwit View Park begin its long-awaited construction,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. “The park will have amazing views, which is fitting because we are building the park that the neighbors have long envisioned. It has a prime location in the neighborhood and right next door to Shaver Elementary School. Luuwit View Park will be a special place for current and future generations of park visitors.”

Director Abbaté noted that the park is also close to Parkrose Middle School and Parkrose High School.

”In east Portland, two out of every five households do not have easy access to a City park. That 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“, adds Commissioner Fritz, who designated Luuwit View Park (and Gateway Discovery Park) for development after careful consideration of community input.