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How do you want to nature play?

Friends of Spring Garden Park seek community input
by: Submitted Photo The master plan for Spring Garden Park, developed in 2003, envisions, paths, native plants and a nature-based playground for the now open field.

MULTNOMAH - It has been years in the making and now, because of the hard work and diligence of the Multnomah Village community, Friends of Spring Garden Park is moments away from making its dream of a nature-based play area at Spring Garden Park a reality. The Spring Garden Park Nature Play First Installation Task Force has been established to help develop the first play features envisioned in the park's master plan.

And the task force wants your advice. Help develop the concepts for this nature play area at a hands-on, all-ages event Aug. 13 from 9 a.m. to noon at the park, located at 3332 S.W. Spring Garden St. This is your chance to play with sticks and dirt and, in the process, create something special for the community.

The Friends of Spring Garden Park has been raising awareness and funds for the nature play area of the park for almost two years. It is now working closely with Portland Parks and Recreation to make the nature-based play area a reality. In the past two years, it has organized a play event in the park, held a plant sale and sold cotton candy at Multnomah Days. The goal of FSGP is to provide Multnomah Village residents and visitors with a safe and interesting play area that leverages natural materials and ecofriendly play structures to provide healthy mental and physical stimulation. Nature-based outdoor play environments provide one more way to help counter the increasing challenges of child obesity, diabetes and heart and mental health problems.

Thanks to Umpqua Bank's Build Your Block Challenge $10,000 award and Multnomah Villagers' votes for supporting the nature play effort and bringing the concept to life. Earlier this year, members of the community nominated projects for the Build Your Block Challenge, a community engagement project sponsored by Umpqua Bank's new Multnomah Village store. The three top projects were eligible for a second round of voting where visitors to the bank voted for their favorite project.

On June 3 it was announced that Spring Garden Park's nature play concept was the winner. Special thanks go to Umpqua Bank for its generous contribution to this effort to bring a portion of the Spring Garden Park Master Plan to life.

This project is an interim step in the implementation of the master plan for Spring Garden Park. The park is a 4.65-acre parcel of the Portland Parks and Recreation system, acquired in 1999 from Portland Public Schools. A master plan for Spring Garden Park was developed in 2003 and can be viewed on the Friends of Spring Garden Facebook page or at www.PortlandParks.org.

When funds are available for the implementation of the master plan, the community will be engaged in determining how nature-based play can be more fully integrated into the park.

If you are unable to attend the play date, information and ideas can be shared via the Friends of Spring Garden Park page on Facebook, or by attending the Friends of Spring Garden Park monthly public meeting, held the first Wednesday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Multnomah Arts Center, located at 7688 S.W. Capitol Hwy.

For more information, contact FSGP chair Lori Howell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also contact Bryan Aptekar at Portland Parks and Recreation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- Submitted by Horst Niehaus, Friends of Spring Garden Park