Improvements underway at Foster-Powell's Laurelwood Park
If you're driving on S.E. Foster Road in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, you might easily miss Laurelwood Park. It's a wedge-shaped Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) property just east of Foster's complex intersection at Holgate Boulevard and 62nd.
Eight years ago, during the 2013 Master Plan process, a collaboration between PP&R and "Foster Eco-Green", the Laurelwood Park community chose a design concept centered around a new "plaza" to be installed along Holgate Boulevard, among many other amenities for the park.
This year, those plans will finally be turned into improvements for the small park.
"Pathways will extend from the plaza to provide connections to Foster Road and the adjacent property to the east," outlined PP&R Community Engagement Coordinator Ken Rumbaugh. "This will create two lawn areas, and individual planting areas, as well as an area for an art installation."
Laurelwood Park is not large, but Rumbaugh said, "This park, albeit relatively small in size, will be a 'signature public space' at the confluence of Foster Road and Holgate Boulevard; and, it will also be a centerpiece for the continued PBOT 'Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project' development along the Foster corridor."
In February, construction crews fenced off the park for safety, as crews moved in to remove dead or dying trees, and to begin preparing for the park's makeover, which will continue throughout the summer months.
"Signature spaces such as Laurelwood Park will be even more important, given all that COVID-19 has taught us," Rumbaugh reflected. "As COVID restrictions relax, we know that Portlanders will be looking to Portland's parks as a safe place to socialize with friends and family.
"And, this 'new' park will provide a wonderful destination, along the busy Foster Road Neighborhood Business District."
When the upgrade is completed, the park will be "a new and welcoming green space in East Portland where neighbors can gather to reflect, to relax, and to play," envisioned Rumbaugh. "We hope it brings smiles to many people's faces."
In a sense, this project is a legacy of the late Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish – who, in June of 2019, in one of his last acts in public office, allocated $1.4 million from System Development Charges to turn these plans for Laurelwood Park into a reality.
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