Photo credit to: Portland Parks and Recreation
By Leroy Eadie, Executive Director @ Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Coalition
Since moving to Portland, a year ago, I have enjoyed visiting the local parks. An element that stood out to me immediately was the nature patches. I encourage you to visit a Portland Park with a nature patch during this Earth Week.
As a previous Parks and Recreation Director I recognize the value parks and nature spaces provide to people and wildlife. Portland has outstanding parks and I’m particularly impressed with their Ecologically Sustainable Landscapes program.
I live in Northeast Portland and I’m in Alberta Park every day and often find myself walking along the path through the nature patch. Portland Parks says this about their nature patches “Portland Parks & Recreation’s new program brings nature to neighborhood parks. We’re adding nature patches to developed park landscapes to provide natural experiences for people and habitat for wildlife. Nature patches are unique natural garden spaces that support native pollinators and offer fun opportunities for education and exploration.”
In southeast Portland Hazeltine Park has an outstanding nature patch located around an open play and recreation area. I believe Portland Parks have shown that both active and passive recreation can take place adjacent to each other.
Although just outside the boundaries of SE Uplift, Lents park also has a beautiful nature patch located on a south facing slope. My wife and I did some volunteer clean-up work at Lents recently and I thought the proximity of the nature patch adjacent to the playground to be a smart design as kids are drawn to natural areas. This is a wonderful opportunity to educate youth about the value of native plantings.
I encourage Portland Parks to continue to design and locate more nature patches. Each is built and maintained with the help of local volunteers. A new nature patch is being built right now in Fern Hill Park, which is another park I visit multiple times a week. Maybe SEUL can work with Portland Parks to locate more nature patches in parks in the southeast.
Well done Portland Parks and all the volunteers that made the nature patches happen!