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Farmland to become parkland

He emphasized the balance of the role of the neighbors and that of the planners in this process. “We really do need to listen to what your concerns are. But the reality is, things are going to change. A lot of people like the fact that this was a farm. They want to see that; that’s what they’ve seen all along. Suddenly you’re going to have other kinds of activities, people from outside your neighborhood,” Whitcomb said.

Sometime in 2008, probably the latter half, the design and master planning process for the new park will begin. The process will deal with types of use, residents’ concerns and access issues. Because the parcels don’t border each other, but both border Shaver Elementary, Whitcomb said the Parkrose School District would be involved concerning park access. The park’s design will be the outcome of a collaborative effort between the neighborhood and PP&R. It’s truly a community effort, and the final design will reflect recreation needs and community priorities, according Brenner.

After the planning process is complete, funds to build the park will have to come from somewhere. There are a variety of strategies for development of the park — a citywide parks levy, a citywide parks bond, one-time funds from the city or a grant. At this point it’s hard to say.

Portland is nationally renowned for its parks system, one of the tenets that make it such a great city. Now, Mid-Multnomah County will get its first full-sized, fully planned Portland park, built from the ground up, since annexation in the mid-1980s.

As someone who lives in Argay and walks his dog at Shaver Elementary almost every day, I am excited.

The question for you, dear readers, is this: What do you want to see in these 15.7 acres? Baseball diamonds (like Farragut Park), a fenced off-leash dog park (like Normandale Park), soccer fields (like Delta Park), a softball stadium (like Erv Lind), a playground and picnic area (like most Portland Parks), tennis courts (like Grant Park), wading pools (like Peninsula Park)? It’s up to you.

Your opportunity to tell PP&R what you want will come next year. This is a process you can influence by staying involved — show up at meetings, participate, volunteer and speak up. Eventually, the new park, although located in Argay, will belong to all Portlanders.

To be notified when the planning process for the park will start in 2008, call Brenner at 503-823-5255 or e-mail him at

With the Garre farm smaller by 15.7 acres and the Rossi family no longer farming, what’s next for Mid-county farmland? The most visible remaining farmers are Dominic Giusto — who owns and farms one parcel (top)— and Albert Garre — who owns and still farms the parcel behind his family home on Northeast Shaver Street and now also farms the adjacent Rossi family acreage.
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