AJ’s Birthday in our Neighborhood Park

15 06 2010

I live in the Richmond neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. We have a little pocket park about 50 yards from my house. As far as the general public is concerned, this park doesn’t exist. But it’s a little-known park owned by Portland Parks Department.  The park, at SE 47th and Ivon streets, is comprised of three former house lots. Some two decades ago, there was a plan to build a highway in this neighborhood, and the government had demolished a number of homes in preparation – and then cancelled its project – thus our little park.

Since coming to the neighborhood in 2002, I’ve participated in numerous efforts to get this park on the city’s radar for improvement. At one time there was a tidy architectural plan for this property, which spans the street. The original plan called for closing the street. In 2003 the neighbors joined forces and planted trees, constructed planters in the street and stone benches on the lawns. To this day  neighbors use the parks more than previously.

People come to the parks to toss a baseball, play frisbee, picnic, play with dogs, or have a barbeque. We have had dozens of barbeques in our park. This year my neighbors Janis and Brent used the park to host the birthday party for their son, AJ!

He invited everyone in his nursery school class, so the park was really busy that day. Kids played in the hammock, enjoyed corn on the cob, used the toy rocket, and everyone gave AJ wonderful gifts! The adults had a good time as well.


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