Tales From The Trails:

2014 Parks Replacement Bond

A DECENT PROPOSAL: 2014 Parks Replacement Bond

Portland boasts a nationally-renowned public park system thanks to the vision and values of its citizens. In most recent decades, Portland voters passed the 1989 levy and the 1994 Parks Bond to create a diversity of capital improvement projects, which helped earn Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) a National Gold Medal Award in 2011. But, no matter how outstanding Portland's parks may be, its trails still crumble to landslides, its roofs still succumb to rot, and nothing ever built outlasts its expiration date. The proposed 2014 Portland Parks Replacement Bond will address parks' urgent replacement needs without raising taxes.

No New Taxes

Should it be approved by Portland City Council on July 24 and then by Portland voters on the November 4 ballot, the Parks Replacement Bond will simply sustain the current rate of property taxes set by the 1994 Parks Bond. Next year, funding from the 1994 Parks Bond will cease, along with its imposed tax increase. So, if the Parks Replacement Bond does not pass, property taxes will lower, park structures will continue to degrade, and replacement expenses will increase. 

Park Replacement Projects

On July 24, Commissioner Amanda Fritz will present to City Council a list of high-priority replacement projects (Project List #1) with a total price tag of approximately $35M to $45M. These projects were selected based on a ranked list of criteria, scrutinized by the Portland Parks Board, PP&R’s Budget Advisory Committee, and over 500 citizen survey respondents. Since the proposed bond would provide up to $68M in funding, additional parks replacement projects (Project List #2) will be identified in 2015-2016 through a second public process.

2014 Portland Parks Replacement Bond

Quick Look at Project List #1

Project Category

Citizen Support*


e.g. Parks and Facilities Effected

Project Highlights


74% - 76%

$5 M

Couch, Creston, Kenton, Lents, Lynchview, North Park Blocks, Ventura

Replace Couch Park's old wooden play structure which was torn down for safety reasons in 2014. 

Bridges and Trails

79% - 83%

$5 M

Forest Park, Springwater Corridor

Replace Forest Park's Maple Bridge which failed in 2012 and closed access to a beloved trail.



$5 M

Grant, Matt Dishman, Peninsula Park

Replace Matt Dishman Pool's failing plaster surface and a whirlpool, popular among seniors and people with disabilities.

Protect Workers


$10 M

Urban Forestry Program Facility, Mt Tabor Yard Maintenance Facility

Demolish Mt Tabor Yard's outdated structures, relocate a greenhouse, and construct warehouse and vehicle washing station.

Pioneer Courthouse Square


$10 M

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Replace expired waterproof membrane under bricks of Pioneer Courthouse Square.



$5 M


Improve park access for people with disabilities. Remove barriers in restrooms, play and picnic areas, and install missing handrails.

Restrooms and Urgent Repairs


$5 M

Multnomah Arts Center, Sellwood Park, St Johns Communtity Center, park restrooms city-wide

Replace Sellwood Park's leaky roofs to prevent restroom/kitchen building and pool building damage.

*Source: DHM Research in a May 2014 telephone survey of 800 likely Portland voters.

What about Forest Park?

Two of Forest Park’s most cherished trails are in dire need of repair. The 2014 Parks Replacement Bond prioritizes these projects.

Maple Trail Bridge

In 2012, the 30-foot-long Maple Trail Bridge, located between Saltzman Road and Koenig Trail, collapsed due to structural failure. Since then, that section of Maple Trail, the most lush and scenic link in the Saltzman to Leif Erikson loop, has been off-limits to park users. The 2014 Parks Replacement Bond may finally resurrect the Maple Trail Bridge and restore this sorely lost trail loop.

Lower Macleay Trail

Over the past few rainy seasons, serial landslides have struck multiple points along Lower Macleay Trail. Though emergency repairs keep reopening this popular Forest Park entrance, severe damage has been done and long-term solutions are needed. The 2014 Parks Replacement Bond promises to rebuild the trail and its two rotting bridges.

More Information

Click here for a complete summary of the Parks Replacement Bond.
Click here for a complete glance at Project List #1. 
Stay tuned to www.parksreplacementbond.org for updates.

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