Woodstock community 'pocket park' completed
Woodstock Boulevard's new "pocket park", at the edge of the All Saints Episcopal campus, was finally completed on Friday, November 20 – just in time for Thanksgiving.We offered a progress report on it some months ago in these pages. The finishing touches were added by Angie Even and her husband, Tim.
In a real sense, the couple's hands-on involvement in taking care of the final details brought the project full circle, as Angie, President of the Woodstock Stakeholders Group, and former Woodstock business owner, who has taken the lead on district improvement and cleanup efforts along Woodstock Boulevard for years, was one of the instigators of this pocket park project.
The Woodstock Community Business Association, under the leadership of "Payroll On Time" owner Thad Davis, played a partnership role with Angie's nonprofit Stakeholders Group in spearheading the project, financed by both organizations with the help of a major seed grant from Venture Portland.
Davis was a key member of the committee that oversaw the siting, planning, and installation of the park – and he also lent a hand with plantings, which were done in three phases. The first phase involved a number of volunteers from the neighborhood, as well as from the church. All Saints' Reverend Andria Skornik was also involved throughout, coordinating the process from the church's end.
Located on the north side of the boulevard between S.E. 40th and 41st Avenues, next to the sidewalk, this small park has a lot going for it. Rev. Skornik reports they are already seeing the public engaging with the space – walking the new paved path, trying out the bench, reading the informational and directional signs, and checking out the birdhouses.
The park was designed to feel welcoming to visitors, and is fully wheelchair accessible. Judy Clark, a church member, was instrumental in the conceptual development of the later-phase bird-and-bee supportive habitat, and also encouraged the incorporation of elements providing multi-sensory experiences there – things to touch, see, smell, and so on. The All Saints Buildings and Grounds Committee also played an important role in getting irrigation to the park, and doing the legwork on a number of details.
All of the park's features were locally-sourced. Angie Even oversaw the design and wording for both the directional sign and the historical marker, manufactured by North Pacific Signs on Hawthorne. An All Saints' teenage Sunday school class taught by Laura Axon researched the Native American tribe that once called the area home, for the historical sign. In addition to the land acknowledgment naming the Clackamas Chinook, the plaque also relates the history of the All Saints' church bell.
The park bench was sourced from Outdoor Cathedral, a company specializing in the design of commercial-grade playground and site furniture manufactured by Columbia Cascade. The birdhouses were purchased from Portland's Backyard Bird Shop, and the natural bronze birdbath bowl from Smith Rock, a landscaping supply company on Johnson Creek Boulevard.
As mentioned, the seed grant funding for the "Woodstock Parklet Project" came from Venture Portland, the city nonprofit that serves Portland's business districts. When COVID-19 and other snags slowed down the project's timeline and ability to fundraise for matching funds, Venture Portland graciously stood by to see the park to completion.
The Woodstock business community thanks to all who contributed – whether with funds, in-kind support, volunteer time, or hands-on labor – and the small wayside park is now open to everyone in the community.
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