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City of Portland cleans up parks downtown near the Justice Center after long restoration project

PMG PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - A small tent camp between Lownsdale and Chapman Squares outside the Justice Center, was being cleaned up Wednesday morning.

Contractors from Rapid Response Bio-Clean were cleaning around a small tent camp Wednesday morning on the southeast corner of Lownsdale Square, outside the Federal Courthouse. Wearing red shirts, staff employed by Rapid Response Bio-Clean collected garbage in the spaces between the long-term camp. One resident was protesting loudly, but the cleanup and removal went on around him. PMG PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - Staff from Portland Parks and Recreation were also restoring the familiar green benches to Chapman Square.

Staff from Portland Parks and Recreation were also restoring the familiar green benches to Chapman Square. College basketball is coming to Portland March 17 through 21. Portland's slice of March Madness is expected to be an important boost to the leisure and hospitality industry, as well as Portland's image in national media. The city has also been clearing camps around Union Station and the Moda Center in recent weeks.

PMG PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - Contractors in red from Rapid Response Bio-Clean were cleaning around a small tent camp Wednesday morning on the southeast corner of Lownsdale Square, outside the Federal Courthouse.

During the racial justice protests of 2020, Federal, County and City law enforcement battled Portlanders in the two squares outside the Justice Center. Free food, medical and bail aid stations grew up along Southwest Main Street, the road where the Thompson Elk stood until it was vandalized and then removed by the Regional Arts and Culture Council. During sporadic events in 2021, tent camps emerged on either side of Main. Most of these were cleared in 2021 when the parks were fenced off for plant restoration and graffiti removal, although a few tents remained then and also when the fences came down in December 2021.

PMG PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - Contractors from Rapid Response Bio-Clean (in red) cleaning around a small tent camp Wednesday morning on the southeast corner of Lownsdale Square, outside the Federal Courthouse.

A spokesperson for the City of Portland said Wednesday afternoon, "This is not related to March Madness. The site was posted and will be removed by the end of the week."


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