Neighbors chime in on Errol Heights Park 'play areas'
Development and planning went forward for the Portland Parks & Recreation (PPR) Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood's Errol Heights Park on Thursday evening, May 9, as officials held a "Play and Skate area discussion" at the community center.
"We're here to get feedback from the public about the direction of the play area, and the 'skate spot' as well," explained the project manager – PP&R Landscape Architect George Lozovoy.
To that point that neighbors have brought up – about installing a skate area in Brentwood Park – Lozovoy responded, "There actually is one in the Brentwood Master Plan, but unfortunately there is no money for that; but, there is funding for one at Errol Heights."
Lozovoy continued, "But what we've heard from the public, and what has been supported so far at Errol Heights, is a small, beginner-level facility that we call a 'skate spot', not a large skate area."
The city has been designing the play area to include play features that would be inclusive of children of all abilities. But, Lozovoy observed, due to the limited size of the park, the play areas would only be a "partially inclusive park" – including the natural play area – and that topic was discussed during the meeting.
The location of the skate spot and play area – just west of the Community Garden – rankled some of the neighbors present.
"I live right on the periphery of the park, the last house on S.E. Tenino Street directly across the street from where the play area will be located," remarked neighbor Terri Parkin. "I do want to have a place for kids to play safely, but not next to the community garden, and not in my front yard.
"I, and our other neighbors, prefer that they preserve that area, keeping it a peaceful refuge, as is the community garden and the pollinator garden."
Instead, Parkin suggested, they establish the play areas "down near the basketball courts, where people can more easily access them [from S.E. 45th Avenue] – and then leave the peaceful place, peaceful."
During the meeting, Lozovoy explained that PP&R staff and consultants have been primarily dedicated to obtaining the permits, from city and federal agencies, that are needed to work in the wetland areas of the park.
"We hope construction will's begin in June or July 2020," Lozovoy said.
The project's Community Advisory Committee is reviewing the results of the meeting's discussion; conclusions will be revealed in the future.
Keep up to date on this project online – www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/76247