Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



UPDATE: Trust for Public Land praises city's investment, even as City Council cuts Parks budget.

COURTESY PORTLAND PARKS & REC - Visitors walk along the flowery paths of the International Rose Test Garden in Portland. That's a lot of green!

Portland spends more per resident on its tree-filled public parks than most other cities in the nation, according to a new report.

The Trust for Public Land says Portland ranks No. 6 among the United States' 100 largest cities — with about $142,065,948 invested annually in plazas, playgrounds, rec fields and burbling splash pads.

That's equivalent to $223 per Rose City resident, well above the national median expenditure of $83 per resident.

"More and more cities are competing in many different ways. With regards to parks, they see it as a strategic advantage in terms of attracting the population they want, the jobs they want," explained Charlie McCabe, director of The Trust's Center for City Park Excellence.

Portland also ranked second for the number of community garden plots and dog parks per 10,000 residents. We have 35 garden plots per 10,000 residents, and 5 canine parks per 10,000 residents, as tabulated by The Trust for Public Lands.

Forest Park is the seventh largest city park in America, according to the 2018 report. The oldest park in town is Chapman Park, established in 1852. The median park size here is 4.9 acres, compared with 3.8 acres across the U.S.

"Portland is one of the better parks systems in terms of both funding and acreage and programming," said McCabe. "I think Portland has been leading the way for 20 years, if not 25."

McCabe — reached on a train traveling toward New York — praised the leadership of former Portland Parks and Rec Director Mike Abbate, who was shown the door by Commissioner Amanda Fritz in May.

The latest budget passed by the Portland City Council included a nearly $1 million cut to the city's Parks & Recreation department.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story included incorrect information provided by The Trust for Public Lands.

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