Tag: 8219 NE Glisan

A Dim Future for Portland Parks

Starting February 22nd, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) will remove dangerous light poles in twelve City parks, including Montavilla Park. Six of the seventeen light poles at 8219 NE Glisan Street have structural anchoring issues that make them unsafe. These units could pose life and safety hazards to the public. Maintenance teams must remove them immediately, even though the City parks bureau lacks sufficient funds to replace these lights. Affected parks will close at 10:00 p.m. nightly, and Park Rangers will visit locations more frequently at night.

PP&R recently identified 243 poorly anchored light poles after conducting a system-wide review of 1,000 units in City parks. Some lamp posts are over 100 years old. Many of the older cast concrete light poles are not anchored to the ground sufficiently to avoid tipping over if pushed with horizontal force. Last June, one of the older light poles fell on two people in Irving Park after a hammock was illegally attached. 

Mt. Tabor Park also contains 81 lights that fall into the unsafe category. Park crews will replace some light poles over the next 16 months, with Irving Park and Mt. Scott Park receiving priority based on an equity analysis. However, bureau staff are exploring opportunities to maximize the use of remaining lights to keep affected parks as bright as possible. 

Montavilla Park’s gravel center road lined with older lamp poles

PP&R will require additional funding to replace all the unsafe light poles in the park system. bureau leadership has reallocated $5 million from the major maintenance fund to remove the potentially hazardous light poles and begin the partial replacement process, pulling money away from other projects. Portland parks require $600 million of repair and replacement work beyond what the bureau budget covers. PP&R Director Adena Long is working to address this challenge through its Sustainable Future Initiative to align equitable service with available funding.

This lighting reduction is one of multiple budget shortfalls leaving Montavilla Park with fewer amenities. In 2021 demolition crews removed a dilapidated picnic shelter that park officials intended to replace with a new structure. However, lack of funds postponed that project, and the site is now just another grassy field. Expect fewer light poles in the two area parks over the next few months. Until PP&R funding increases, do not anticipate the restoration of the removed lights or shelter at Montavilla Park.

Update: PP&R will now replace all lights and halt removal until new lights are available.

Twelve City parks with light pole removal planned

  • Colonel Summers Park will have 12 of 16 light poles removed
  • Irving Park will have 73 of 78 light poles removed
  • Ladd Circle Park will have 4 of 20 light poles removed
  • Lair Hill Park will have 5 of 9 light poles removed
  • Montavilla Park will have 6 of 17 light poles removed
  • Mt. Scott Park will have 18 of 22 light poles removed
  • Mt. Tabor Park will have 81 of 216 light poles removed
  • Rose City Golf Course will have 1 of 1 light poles removed
  • Sellwood Park will have 17 of 23 light poles removed
  • Sellwood Riverfront Park will have 14 of 17 light poles removed
  • Woodstock Park will have 8 of 25 light poles removed
  • Wallace Park will have 4 of 6 light poles removed

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Staff Needed for Public Pool Reopening

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) intends to open all seven outdoor pools on June 22nd, including the Montavilla Outdoor Pool at 8219 NE Glisan Street. They will join the four year-round indoor pools already open to the public. Due to ongoing recruitment and hiring struggles, PP&R will only offer aquatics classes at outdoor pools this summer. Based on data from the parks department, this focus will best meet expected demand with reduced staff.

Registration for this summer’s classes and pool activities begins on Monday, June 27th. People are encouraged to signup online at the PP&R website. However, in-person or phone registration is still available. Spaces could fill up soon after registration opens. Staff members will have a waitlist for those who could not secure their preferred offering. Information about classes and other pool activities is available on the PP&R website.

As part of the Parks Local Option Levy, people of color, seniors, teens, households experiencing poverty, immigrants and refugees, and people living with disabilities will have early access to registration. June 20th, eligible community members can inquire about early registration through the Customer Service Center at 503-823-2525. PP&R provides information on the advanced registration process to local community organizations that share those resources with their community members. Interested organizations can email parks.recreation@portlandoregon.gov to register as partners or to learn more.

For the general public seeking classes, registration for programs running from July 25th through September 4th start on June 27th at 12:30 p.m. Registration for September 5th through October 2nd sessions occur on August 8th at 12:30 p.m. Staffing shortages could prolong the registration process over the phone or at a PP&R facility. Parks staff recommend online registration for the best experience.

The reduction in applicants for open Portland Parks department positions mirrors a nationwide employment trend. In a survey by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), 88% of park and recreation agencies indicated they are not fully staffed for lifeguards this summer season. PP&R is actively recruiting staff for the summer. They offer lifeguard certification, swim instructor training, and water fitness instructor training classes year-round to prepare and train staff. People interested in joining the park’s team should view employment opportunities and apply online.

The staffing shortages will limit some instructor-led activities at Portland’s four indoor pools. However, Montavilla’s only aquatic recreation site should run at full capacity this year. Although the Montavilla pool is only rain-filled at the moment, it will spring to life by the month’s end. Then the community can return for another summer filled with pool activities.

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Demolition at Montavilla Park

Two demolition permits for Montavilla Park were recently submitted. Application 20-159559 and 20-159551 seek to demolish the park’s wading pool and picnic structure. Currently, these structures are fenced off.

Mark Ross, Media Relations with Portland Parks & Recreation, explained that this work is in preparation for a replacement picnic structure. “Portland Parks & Recreation must demolish and remove the existing shelter which had become unstable. The bureau plans to replace it with a similarly sized shelter. The wading pool is not functional and cannot be used per State regulations which went into effect some years ago.”

The picnic structure is visible from NE Glisan Street and is adjacent to the children’s play area. This corner of Montavilla Park is dark and uninviting in its current condition. The demolition should clear the way for needed upgrades to the park.

Top photo is courtesy of Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland, OR.