Seeing the Forest and the Trees
Virtually unknown on the other side of an 8-foot high chain-link fence topped with barbed wire was a hidden gem: a 10-acre Douglas fir forest complete with loop trail. Gresham owned a 2-acre lawn area—with no amenities—hemmed in by that chain-link fence. Why not remove the fence and create a 12-acre urban park in this underserved community?
We worked with the City, Friends of Nadaka, Columbia Slough Watershed Council and almost 20 community groups to create Nadaka Park. The City took a leap into untraditional approaches to park development, nature play and community gardens. It also agreed to a nontraditional implementation that mixed contractors, nonprofits, job training and volunteers. They took a risk, and got amazing community buy-in in return.
The park now encourages community members to play outside, grow and eat healthy food, celebrate the seasons, learn about plants and animals, and spend time in nature.