In December, the Bureau of Environmental Services approved a grant, possibly for as much as $100,000 through its 1% for Green program to design and build a rain garden on the east island of the Northeast Halsey-Weidler corridor at Northeast 112th Ave. and Halsey Street.
Tom Badrick, a member of the Halsey-Weidler work group and board chair of the Parkrose Heights Neighborhood Association, wrote the grant on behalf of the neighborhood association. The property, which is owned by the Portland Bureau of Transportation, falls within the neighborhood association’s boundaries.
That grant request recommended that the garden be designed by Nevue Ngan Architects, the same landscape architectural firm that designed curb extensions, crossings and other improvements along the Halsey-Weidler corridor during the past year, in consultation for the Portland Development Commission.
“I think they‘ll do a really good job,” Badrick said of Nevue Ngan architects. “They‘re fun to work with; they‘re creative and they have a relationship with PDC on all this stuff anyway, so it’s kind of a natural fit.”
Nevue Ngan would design the garden and possibly BES would offer technical guidance and oversee construction work, which would be contracted out, Badrick said.
The rain garden would be located on one portion of the east island and would allow diversion of stormwater runoff into a natural filtration system. The model is similar to a bioswale, only larger, and would allow the community to interact with nature, says Badrick.
The committee overseeing the grant has representatives from several city bureaus, he said.
Some of the grant funding might come from PDC, leading Badrick to speculate, “It may very well be that Parkrose Heights gets this grant, but it gets administered and managed through PBOT or through PDC.”
In the grant, Badrick suggested that the neighborhood association could oversee the project in small ways, perhaps submitting final paperwork. “When Nevue Ngan’s done their work and the construction’s done, somebody still has to turn in this completed paperwork on the grant saying this is what we accomplished, this is how we did on the budget,” he explained.
Even though he applied for the grant through the neighborhood association, Badrick said the Halsey-Weidler work group is included in gathering input from the public through open meetings. Other partners will also be involved, such as the Gateway Area Business Association, the Hazelwood Neighborhood Association and others.
BES has not announced a final award amount for the grant because of still unanswered questions about who will manage the grant and when, “so that might change the numbers some,” says Badrick.
The goal is to start planning the rain garden in January or February, finishing it in a year or less.
At press time, Badrick was waiting to hear if the PDC approved two other grants he wrote: One for $23,000 to add several trashcans and benches along the corridor, and another for $44,000 to fund a design process, including extensive outreach to ensure full community feedback, for the east island at Northeast 112th Avenue and Halsey Street. Decisions on those grants were expected around Dec. 28.