By Midge Pierce
The results of a 10 year process to improve sub-standard building and working conditions at the Mt. Tabor Central Maintenance Yard will be available for public review and comment at Warner Pacific College on October 24.
Project components include transition of Mt. Tabor Park’s so-called Long Block back to its designated horticulture use and construction of a long-sought southerly park entrance.
Just west of Mt. Tabor’s community garden, a storage area for potted plants displaced by the new Maintenance Yard building will be installed. This area of the Park north of 60th between Harrison and Lincoln – formerly home to the Parks Bureau tree nursery – was designated horticulture space when the Mt. Tabor Park Master plan was updated in 2008.
The project and new construction are funded by a Parks bond passed by Portlanders in 2014. The Parks Department has promised to add formal park signage at Lincoln and 60th, originally intended as the grand entrance when Mt. Tabor Park was designed a century ago.
The proposed south-facing entry to the park and a pathway along SE 64th from Division St. will provide direct access for bikes and pedestrians entering from neighborhoods to the South. This part of the project, funded separately by System Development Charges, will include public art.
Citizen committee member John Laursen says that extensive neighborhood input has gone into making sure that plant storage will be an aesthetically pleasing asset, with appropriate fencing and screening, and with no glaring lights or idling vehicles.
He says the citizen group is continuing its work with the intention of incorporating edible landscaping and perhaps more community garden space.
He is relieved the Long Block will now be visibly designated as part of Mt. Tabor Park, allaying the longstanding apprehension of the community that Parks might declare the property surplus and sell it for development.
Community open house: Tuesday, October 24, at Warner Pacific College, in Egtvedt Hall room 203. The open house will run from 6 to 8 pm. A presentation will start at 6:30.