Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Thirty-member community team will guide decision making around parks, recreation

PMG FILE PHOTO - A Parks & Recreation Community Advisory Group has been officially formed by the Gresham City Council.Gresham City Council has voted in the members of a new community advisory group tasked with crafting a plan for local parks and recreation that have long been saddled with funding woes.

The newly formed Parks & Recreation Community Advisory Group consists of 30 members representing a diverse mix of backgrounds and neighborhoods. The group will meet 12 times throughout the coming year, and eventually present Council with a series of actionable solutions.

Council approved the task force membership Tuesday evening, Oct. 19.

Gresham received plenty of interest in the new community group, as parks and recreation has long been a priority across the community. In total 58 applications were received and reviewed. Those chosen include 20 community and 10 institutional representatives.

The Parks Advisory Group community members are Edward Chin, Catherine Nicewood, Brian Goodrow, Kayla Viramontes, Yaquelin Garcia, Anna Mar, William Burgess, Cynthia Rounds, Josh Stratman, Kate McQuillan, Matt Riding, Natalie Mitchell Fuller, Garrin Black, Philip Svabik-Seror, Maria Velez, Sheena Raab, Stella Butler, Tara Finnegan, Christine Bierman, and Quinn Thereaux.

The institutional representatives are Dr. Kim Hyatt, MHCC dean of health, PE, athletics and aquatics; Dr. Angela Freeman, Reynolds School District assistant superintendent; Kevin Bryant, Centennial High athletic director/assistant principal; Claire Lider, Gresham Finance Committee; Mike Abbate, city of Fairview; and Mollie King, Troutdale recreation program director.

The city is still seeking a representative from the Gresham-Barlow School District, Gresham Planning Commission, Gresham Youth Advisory Committee, and city of Wood Village.

Council President Eddy Morales and Councilor Sue Piazza will serve as liaisons for the group. Traci Simmons, Mt. Hood Community College associate vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, will serve as the DEI facilitator.

The group's short-term goals are to find city-school district collaboration opportunities, develop the recreation program, and prioritize capital improvement projects. Long-term the goal is to create diversity, equity and inclusion principles for parks and recreation; find desired levels of service and costs; and match revenue tools with vision.

The Gresham Parks & Recreation Community Advisory Group will first meet Thursday, Nov. 18. It will have reoccurring meetings on the first Thursday of each month. The group will check-in with Council midway through next year, and will present final recommendations to council in the fall of 2022.

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