Metro seeks comment on potential regional park bond
Metro wants to hear from you about a potential bond measure for parks and nature areas in the Portland region.
The seven-member Metro Council expects to decide later this spring whether to put a bond to voters in the Nov. 5 election. The projected range is $400 million to $450 million, but the bond would not increase property tax rates.
Voters approved bonds of $136 million in 1995 and $227.4 million in 2006. The latter bond is winding down.
Jonathan Blasher, Metro parks and nature director, said this survey is the public's chance to weigh in on the future.
"We want to make sure we give folks a chance to have their voices heard and that we're putting together the best proposal possible for the region in terms of protecting clean water, restoring fish and wildlife habitat and connecting people with nature close to home."
An online survey is open through April 30. The link: https://metroparksandnaturebond.metroquest.com
Metro covers urban portions of Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.
Proceeds from previous bonds were used to secure 13,000 acres. Bond money can be spent on acquiring and restoring land, building and maintaining trails and other park facilities, supporting local projects, awarding community grants, and carrying out large-scale community visions.
Bonds cannot be spent on operating costs. Voters approved a separate parks and nature operating levy in 2013, and in 2016, they extended it through mid-2023.
A 30-member group has been advising Metro staff about what a new bond should look like and how the proceeds should be spent.
Special attention has been given to bond funding of potential work in three areas:
• Glendoveer Nature Trail in Northeast Portland.
• Blue Lake Regional Park near Fairview.
• Oregon City sites, including Caneman Bluff Nature Park, Newell Creek Canyon Nature Park — which the Metro Council approved a master plan for in 2016 — and Willamette Falls. For the latter, Metro is the lead agency for development of a riverwalk that will connect Willamette Falls to Oregon City. The other partners are Oregon City, Clackamas County and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.