Sunday, April 3, 2011

FLP meets 4/6; Master Plan @ City Council 4/13

The final Master Plan for Lents Park will not be going to City Council for approval on April 6, as previously announced. It has been postponed, and will be heard at 2:30 pm on Wednesday, April 13 at City Hall. Hopefully this afternoon time will make it possible for a few more people to attend.

Friends of Lents Park is meeting again at 6:00 PM, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, at Lents Commons, SE 92nd Ave and Foster to further discuss the Master Plan and how best to communicate our group's position.

We are almost at the end of a very important process that will affect the next 25 years of our park's life - a process in which Friends of Lents Park has played a very important role. Let's make sure EVERYBODY gets represented in our last round of comments as a group!

If you haven't done so yet, please read the Final Master Plan document. If you're having trouble viewing this online, we will have a paper copy to pass around at the April 6 meeting.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Final Master Plan goes to City Council April 6

The final Master Plan has now been posted to the Lents Park Master Plan project page. Link to the page, which contains documents from the entire history of the project, is:
Link to the plan itself is:

The final Master Plan will go to City Council for adoption on Wednesday, April 6, 10:15 a.m. at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue. This is a "time certain" item, which means it will not be heard before 10:15 a.m., but could be heard later, depending on if previous agenda items run over. Obviously, this is a weekday morning and many working people will not be able to attend, but testimony can be submitted ahead of time.

Friends of Lents Park will hold our next meeting on Sunday, March 20, at 4:00 p.m. at Lents Commons Coffeehouse, SE 92nd and Foster. We will be discussing the final Master Plan, deciding if we want to make any final comments as a group and how to present them (perhaps designate a person who can attend on April 6 on behalf of the group.) We will also need to discuss where we go from here as a group, now that the Master Plan process is almost over.

Everybody should understand that this is NOT another round of public involvement - these have already concluded. This is our chance to review the final version of the document, which was drafted by the City's contractor, Walker Macy, in response to direction received from the final meeting of the Project Advisory Committee, which was held on December 16.

Please help spread the word about the final Master Plan process and FLP's next meeting, particularly to those who don't have e-mail.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Master Plan Homestretch!

The Lents Park planning process is in the homestretch!

1) Make plans to attend the final meeting of the Project Advisory Committee at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 16 at Portland Youth Builders, 4816 SE 92nd Avenue. This is the meeting where your representatives will adopt the final Master Plan for Lents Park.

2) Contribute your opinion and prepare for the PAC meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 15 at Lents Commons Coffeehouse at 92nd/Foster. We'll discuss the Friends of Lents Park final position on a few undecided elements of the Lents Park Master Plan.

If you can't make the meeting, you can email FLP's PAC representative, Kathleen, at to ask questions or express your opinion.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Deadline Nov. 22 for new round of public comment!

The Lents Park Master Plan is in the final round of public involvement. Deadline is Monday, November 22 at 5:00 p.m. This is it! This is your final chance to have input into the redesign of the park before the Project Advisory Committee votes on a final map.

Once the PAC adops a final map and Master Plan, the plan will go to the Parks Director and Commissioner Fish, and from there to the City Council. While you will be able to share your opinions with all of these folks, you will not get another chance to have direct input on the details of the map. Don't miss this deadline!

Visit the Portland Parks website to view the map and fill out the comment form online.

You can also view paper maps and fill out a hard copy comment form at the Lents Commons Coffeehouse, SE 92nd and Foster, open Mon-Fri 6:30 am to 7 pm and Sat-Sun from 8 am to 7 pm. Parks staff will be at Lents Commons Saturday, November 20 from 9to 11 am to answer questions in person.

The remainder of this post is a "voters guide" prepared by Kathleen Juergens de Ponce, Steering Committee member for Friends of Lents Park, who is also FLP's representative to the Master Plan Project Advisory Committee. Kathleen has done her best to give you an overview of your options, without telling you how to vote. However, you should keep in mind that all of this represents one person's analysis. Keep an open mind, and decide for yourself!

So what will you be looking at, when you view the latest round of maps? First of all, you can forget all about most of what you saw on maps A, B and C from the last round. The proposals that were decisively rejected by the community in the last round (moving the gazebo down into a corner, moving the community garden up onto a hill, cutting lots of trees, eliminating tennis) have been removed from the maps. YOUR comments have been listened to and have made a difference!

This time around you will be looking at two maps, dubbed Alternatives A and B. If you picture the park as being divided into three sections, the north and south sections are the same in both maps. Only the central section is different.

Last time around, we had to respond to a lot of ideas that were generated by an outside consultant, some of which the City admitted were thrown at us just to see how we'd react. This time around, you will be seeing ideas that may be new to you, including ideas that were not included in the last round of maps. The difference is that this time the new ideas were generated by people from THIS community: your neighbors, friends, local representatives, including other FLP members. If the public involvement process had been structured differently, you would have seen these ideas sooner. But better late than never!

This time you also have the benefit of being able to hear what your neighbors had to say about some of these ideas, before you have to weigh in yourself. Three "listening sessions" were held the week of October 25. If you were not able to attend, please see the following posts for my notes on what was discussed. Again, it would have been a whole lot better to have these discussions happen 6 months ago, but we do not have the luxury of undoing the past. Let's make the best of what we have, and make sure your voice is included!

The following analysis makes reference to the results from the last round of public comment. The City has finally posted these results in a publicly available format. Check out this link to see what your neighbors said.

North third of the park:

Both maps are the same for this section, and almost all of what you see is the result of what the public said they wanted. The public overwhelmingly supported keeping Vavrek Field (the north side football/soccer field) where it is. There was clear majority support for improving Walker Stadium and converting to synthetic turf to make it multi-use. The adult basketball court is moved to north of the parking lot, which was the most preferred location. (Moving the basketball court makes possible the development of the natural area along the park's east side, which was also favored by the public.)

None of these decisions are likely to be revisited by the PAC, since they were the result of clear direction from the public.

The Lents Little League facilities are left alone, which was a condition of this Master Plan from the beginning. (The PDC just spent millions to relocate these facilities, so it would not make much sense to undo this decision.)

The most controversial aspect of this north section is the skate spot, which is shown on both maps along Holgate, next to Lents Little League. This was the most preferred of the three locations that were shown on the last round of maps....but it wasn't preferred by very much. There is no clear community consensus in favor of this location. Some concerns expressed are how close this location is to houses, and fly balls from the little league.

The listening session on "Active Recreation," held October 25, was the first chance the public really got to weigh in on where the skate park might be located. Three alternate locations were suggested. Check out my notes from this session (see following posts) and see what you think. If you favor one of these alternate locations, say so on your comment form!

South third of the park:

This section is also the same in both maps. Again, most of what you see is based on results from the last round of public comment. Clear majorities supported keeping the dog park where it is, expanding the community garden and adding a shelter (but without destroying the heritage chestnut tree!), keeping the tennis court and children's play areas where they are but with improvements, adding a spray feature to replace the wading pool, and adding a natural planting area along SE 92nd Avenue.

The Project Advisory Committee discussed the dog park at our last meeting and voted to add a water hookup and a bench. (Normally these are “details” that would not go into a master plan, but dog park users have been promised these improvements for a long time.) Left unresolved was the question of fencing. There are strong pros and cons for both fenced and unfenced dog parks, and the public has not yet been asked which they prefer. The PAC is leaning towards a series of partial barriers, while the discussion at the Oct. 28 listening session favored a partial fence. Check out my notes, and indicate on your comment form which you prefer!

In the last round of maps, the public was given the choice as to which corner of the park would be best for a “grand entrance.” The public favored the SE corner, but the question was not specific as to what a “grand entrance” might look like. This round of maps shows the “grand entrance” as involving lawns and garden in the SE bowl area, leading to a staircase up the hill, which leads to the natural area along 92nd. Not everybody is thrilled with the idea of a staircase, and some people have other ideas as to how that SE bowl area might be used. Check out the comments from the listening sessions, and say what you think!

Central section of the park:

This round of maps shows two alternatives for the park's central section.

ALTERNATIVE A: This alternative reduces the soccer fields to one, allowing for the space from the other field to be re-programmed for natural garden-type plantings. This is an idea which has been extensively discussed in the community over the past few months and has rapidly gained popularity, including with many FLP members. Many community members would like to see the central area of the park be less sports-dominated and more conducive to passive recreation. If the public involvement process had been differently structured, there would have been time for much more in-depth discussion and evaluation of this idea at an earlier stage, but we need to make the best of how things are.

The Park Director and Commissioner have set a condition on the Master Plan process that there must not be any net reduction of playable field hours. (Some of us, including me, support this condition, while others think it is unfair; regardless, this is the situation we have to work with.) In order to comply with this condition while still reducing the number of soccer fields to one, it will be necessary for the remaining field to convert to synthetic turf. This is because of the “down time” required by natural grass fields, while synthetic fields can take many more hours of use.

So in this scenario, in order for the public to get something that many people have said they want (more gardens and natural plantings) it will be necessary to accept something that the majority has said they don't want (synthetic turf on a central park field). This is a tough call. Your neighbors have had thoughtful things to say at all three listening sessions, so check out their comments and then make up your own mind.

The PAC has also voted to reorient the synthetic field northward, in order to provide for the largest possible continuous swath of natural plantings. This would require moving the gazebo, an idea which has not proven popular in the listening sessions.

Reorientation of the field would require removal of approximately 6 trees, but the increased plantings in this scenario might include as many as 60 (!) new trees. Some folks are thrilled with this, while others do not necessarily think more is better. What is going to happen to natural light and open space under this scenario? Where will people sit when the park holds concerts? Check out your neighbors' comments, and let us know what you think.

ALTERNATIVE B: This scenario keeps the park much closer to how it is now. The gazebo stays in its current location. A new picnic shelter and additional pathways are added, both of which the public favored in the last round of comments. The only change to the soccer fields is that one would stay a permitted field, while the other would become an open space available to the community (and would likely be used for soccer and other pickup games). Every few years the fields would “flip” to give the permitted field a chance to recover. This scenario for the soccer fields was the most favored option from the last round of public comment.

City's comment form:

Over my objections, the City has chosen to use a comment form that gives the public almost no options for weighing in on specific park features. Check out the comment form here.

People are asked to choose Alternative A or B for the central fields, say why, and then comment on a range of guiding principles. Although the form does not say so, the City has clarified that you are supposed to evaluate how well the alternative you favor embodies these principles. I.e., if you chose Alternative A, you are saying how well Alternative A “provides a variety of active and passive recreational opportunities”.....etc.

Does this sound confusing? Yeah. You are not given any boxes to check that ask you what you think about the different elements of the central fields scenario (reorienting the field, synthetic turf, moving the gazebo, increased plantings, 60 new trees, etc.) You are not asked what you think about the “grand entrance,” which is a new design element. You are not asked whether you favor fencing the dog park, a question that the PAC specific voted to refer to the public. You are not asked anything at all about the skate spot, a matter on which the City knows there is substantial concern.

As regards Alternative A vs. B, you are only given the choice between these two alternatives, with no defined option for anything in between.

Fortunately, our members are not known for allowing our options to be so easily limited. Write it in anyway! Use the lines at the end of the form to let the City know just what you think about the new elements of these maps. If you wholeheartedly favor either Alternative A or B, by all means say so, but if you favor some combination of elements or something in between, let them know!

The most important thing people should understand about this form is that just saying “none of the above” is not going to be a helpful answer, unless you give detailed feedback about what you'd like to see instead. This is the next-to-final map. At the PAC's next meeting, we are expected to vote to adopt the final map. There is no time to go back to the drawing board.

Your comments have already had a huge impact. We have already saved the park's trees and prevented some of the worst ideas from going forward. We have demanded - and gotten - a chance to have more meaningful discussions about the park's future. Your park needs one more effort from you to bring this process to a good conclusion. As always, thank you so much for your engagement on behalf of your park.

Kathleen Juergens de Ponce

P.S. If you would like to see a vision of the park that is dramatically different from the current maps, visit Facebook and search “Lents Park Non-A, B, C Master Plan.” This map was produced by Lents Creative, one of the stakeholder groups in our neighborhood. Whether or not you share this vision, it may spark some great ideas for your own comments.

"Sustainability" Listening Session, Oct. 30

These are Kathleen's personal notes. I have tried to group similar topics together, but otherwise have followed the order in which the conversation happened.

I came in late to this session, so these notes may not be complete.

Two members of the Project Advisory Committee were present. We started off with 6 members of the public, but another 5 came in towards the end and participated actively. Besides Elizabeth and Sarah from Parks, and Bob from Central Services, we were joined by Leslie from the City's Community Garden program.

Community Garden

According to Leslie from the City, there is a waiting list for the Community Garden. This has been a bad gardening year, and there have been some drop-outs. (This may explain people's perception that there are actually lots of spaces available.)

When the community garden folks requested an expansion to the garden, they had envisioned this happening to the west side, not to the east. (Both maps currently show expansion to the east.) To the east you run into trees, and it's hard to grow under trees.

Some support was expressed for expanding the community garden to the west. Of course, this runs into the Dog Off-leash Area (DOLA). Maybe the garden could be "squeezed down" to make up for loss to the DOLA. We could also reconfigure so that the proposed new shelter for the garden also serves the DOLA. (Currently it is shown inside the garden's fence and would not serve both.)

Dog park hill is an important location for sledding when it snows.

Trees, Habitat, Pollinators

Trees are important for air quality mitigation plus a sound barrier from the freeway.

City Bureau of Environmental Services prefers map A for habitat issues, because of the additional trees. Birds will go back and forth between Lents & Bloomington Park.

BES wants to encourage moth-type pollinators. Bees are an issue for some path users because of bee sting allergies.

City wants to look into perennials and native plants that aren't such high maintenance. At Gabriel Park there is a perennial pollinator "mound" that has been successful so far.

Could there be volunteer maintenance? City currently has a "pesticide free parks" program that relies on volunteers.

Orchards work best as part of a community garden. If fallen fruit doesn't get picked up right away, it attracts yellow jackets. Could we maybe have nut trees instead of fruit? Leslie says there has been a lot of loss of nut trees in private yards recently, because they take up space.

One participant (FLP member Debbie) pointed out a tree to west of Community Garden. This was planted in memory of her late mother. Leslie says comm. gardens in various park contain memorial trees.

Open Space

Map A would add approximately 60 new trees (although this is not an exact number - details would be filled in at the schematic stage). One participant says "the more trees the better!" But overall, the majority of participants were concerned about the loss of open space that this would involve. This neighborhood loves its trees, but perhaps we don't need THIS many new ones. One participant said we do not want the park to become so full that we lose natural light. Another participant (with a nursery background) said 60 new trees is very ambitious, and we need to think of maintenance cost.

From a maintenance perspective, open swaths are easier to mow. New trees should be grouped into "groves."

Swales and Stormwater

There was a lot of discussion of how to better direct stormwater. Swales are old technology at this point. There is a lot of exciting stuff being done with permeable barriers.

One participant would have liked the proposal to terrace the community garden because of drainage issues. Regardless, the final plan will have better drainage for that hill in the SE corner. Drainage will be looked at in the schematic stage, along with details like lighting, benches, water fountains, etc.


New restrooms are great, but will they ever be open? This will depend on maintenance budget. But new, more open-style restrooms are expected to be less prone to vandalism which leads to closing.

The plan is to get rid of the port-a-potties that are now in the park. One participant said port-a-potties are not sustainable, since they require servicing by truck.

Maintenance Costs

While not formally part of this discussion, some important information was shared.

The City estimates approximately $6 million for development of the entire Master Plan, which includes approx. $800,000 for the synthetic field. There is currently no money in the budget for any of this; it would have to come from future bond issues. But without a Master Plan in place, we cannot get in line for any funds that may become available in the future.

Both maps A and B would be more expensive to maintain than what we have in the park now, because of the additional pathways. The synthetic turf needs much less maintenance than grass (would wash out over the lifetime of the field, when you factor in how much it costs to install).

The water for the proposed new spray feature would potentially be a high cost. (Spray feature has been popular among all respondents, and would replace the wading pool that has had to be eliminated due to new state law.)

As park improvements go, this Master Plan would not be TOO expensive, because there is not a lot of paving or new structures.


One participant described the SE bowl area currently as "wasted space." There is nothing going on there, no beauty.

"Community Spaces" Listening Session, Oct. 28

These are Kathleen's personal notes. I've tried to group similar topics together, but otherwise have followed the order in which the conversation happened.

Four members of the Project Advisory Committee were present, along with 9 members of the public. We were joined by Allie, the manager for the City's dog off-leash program, and Bob Downing, central services manager for the parks (he was at all of the sessions, along with Elizabeth and Sarah from Parks).

Dog Off-Leash Area (DOLA)

Some feeling that the dog park isn't big enough to accommodate training of dogs.

Proposed expansion of the community garden to the east doesn't affect the dog park. BUT, the east side is where the DOLA boundary is not clear. East side of the community garden is often thought to be, or used as, part of the dog park.

Why can't the DOLA have a bags dispenser for doggie waste? There was a lot of discussion - people want this. This is a budgeting issue. To provide this for the entire parks system would be $100,000 a year. People bring "bags of bags" (reused grocery, newspaper, etc. bags) but this is a problem, because they come loose, blow around and turn into trash. Maybe there could be a better "stash spot" for the bags of bags.

"Doggie septic tank" was brought up as an idea. There are issues of technical feasibility with this.

Dogs run across 88th Ave. This is especially an issue with 88th slated to become a "bike boulevard."

Regarding fencing, participants in this discussion liked best the idea of a partial fence, along the streets only. One participant suggested a 20-foot "hook" inward from the street.


Again, it was hard to keep this conversation completely separate from the question of what we do with the soccer fields, but we tried to focus on the "community space" aspect of the question.

Overall, participants expressed strong concerns with moving the gazebo. Current location is close to parking and to proposed new restrooms and picnic area. Proposed new location in map A is less convenient. With new location, there is concern that noise will come "down the hill" to residences to the south of the park (although band shell may mitigate this). Wheelchair access will be better in current location. New location will be worse for sun in the eyes of audience.

Majority of participants rejected the idea that "we will move the gazebo, but keep it as close to parking, restrooms, etc. as possible," which was proposed as a compromise position. They did not favor moving the gazebo at all. One participant said moving the gazebo would "just be a waste."

There were also some concerns about how the scenario in map A will accommodate concerts. The symphony uses soccer fields. How would it work for them to play on the synthetic field? You wouldn't be able to bring food. One participant said, "synthetic fields are for sports, not for the people."

The conversation about the gazebo repeatedly veered into areas that have more to do with park management than design. Noise control in the park is a huge issue for neighbors, especially on the quieter 88th Avenue side. One neighbor described some noise levels as "unbearable." One neighbor sometimes hears events in the park from his house on 86th Ave. People at the bottom of the park say they hear "everything." The Revolution Church event over Labor Day is hugely unpopular - people do not like sitting in their homes and hearing they are going to go to hell. People understood (reluctantly, after much debate) that the City cannot discriminate against park users based on content.

Trying to report noise violations means you get the runaround. Portland Parks & Rec issues permits, but BDS enforces noise violations. There is only one noise control officer for the entire city. Try to report a violation, and each bureau refers you to the other. (Perhaps there are some ideas here for future areas of organization and advocacy for Friends of Lents Park.)

Participants were generally open to the idea of improvements to the gazebo that might result in better noise control. Maybe there could also be rule changes that put limits on amplified music, not eliminate it entirely.

"Grand Entrance"

A few long-term residents weighed in on the idea to put in a grand staircase at the SE corner. There were stairs before, by the tennis courts. They were taken out because there were too many problems. Bikers and skaters used the stairs for tricks, grinding, etc.

Keep the evergreen trees at the SE corner.

Some participants did not like the choice of the SE corner for the "grand entrance." (This was the location favored by respondents to the previous round of public involvement.) Some think the Holgate side is a more natural choice. One participant asked, so is this a done deal because of the previous responses? (Probably, but say what you think on your comment form! If the PAC gets overwhelming input to revisit this decision, it may happen.)

Kids' Play Area

Some participants favored putting the covered picnic area next to the play area, for birthday parties.

Participants were generally OK with the idea of a kids' basketball court going in next to the play area.

One participant said speed limits should be lowered around the park because of children playing. While this is outside the scope of this master plan, it has been done before, for example, in Spokane. The state controls speed limits, so you can write your legislator. There are other people in the neighborhood concerned about this issue - check out the "i love lents" listserve on Yahoogroups.

Synthetic Turf for Fields

While not formally part of the agenda for this discussion, the subject of the synthetic fields came up and some important information was shared.

Cost to put in a synthetic field is around $800,000. Yearly maintenance costs then go down to almost nothing, because synthetic turf doesn't need much maintenance. Maintenance fees for grass fields: at Delta park (high-intensity use) can run about $25,000 a year; here in Lents Park it runs around $7,000 a year. Over the long run (according to Bob Downing) synthetic fields are cheaper.

One participant asked why the City can afford $800,000 for a synthetic field, but can't afford a bag dispenser for the dog park.

One participant said his sons had played on synthetic turf and didn't like the feel of it. Playground improvements are more important than the money it would take to put in a synthetic field.

It was acknowledged that synthetic materials have improved a lot over the past few years and are now much more "natural" feeling.


One participant with 51 years in the neighborhood and multiple past service on committees said that this master plan is "the first positive thing the CIty has ever done for Lents Park." There are lots of promises, but the City never follows through.

"Active Recreation" Listening Session, Oct. 25

These are Kathleen's personal notes. I have tried to group similar topics together, but otherwise have followed the order in which the conversation happened.

The topic of this listening session was "Active Recreation," which included the soccer fields, Walker Stadium, the football field, and the proposed new skate park.

About half the Project Advisory Committee was present, and a total of 21 members of the public participated at various times. The public participation was pretty evenly divided between "sports" people and "neighborhood" people, and included representatives of virtually all the different "sports" constituencies that use the park. There was a representative from the baseball players who use Walker Stadium, from the Spanish-speaking soccer players who use the central fields, and from Lents Little League. There were also several local skaters who had a background in skate park design.

More sports in the park?

Neighbors present talked about their desire for the park not to be turned into a "sports complex." This was an interesting perception, since the skate park is the only new sports feature proposed to be added. Neither of the maps currently under consideration would add MORE soccer, football or baseball, and both would restrict some areas available for pickup sports such as volleyball.

So we talked some about the perception that the park is being targeted for lots more sports to be added. This is coming primarily from the proposal to go to synthetic turf in Walker Stadium and for one soccer field in Map A. Neighbors pointed out that synthetic turf means fewer rainouts, which means more games actually get played, even if the scheduling is the same on paper. Synthetic fields are also lighted, which means play can continue until later in the night. Restricting permitted hours could help. Walker Stadium is currently permitted until 11 pm. The synthetic central field could be restricted to 10 pm.


One of the biggest issues for neighbors with sports in the park was associated parking impacts. One neighbor said that moving Lents Little League to the park had really affected parking on the west side. Some ideas were shared to get sports participants to take transit instead of drive. Maybe offer some incentives for coming on MAX? This is more feasible for soccer than baseball, where people are hauling a lot of gear.

One participant had an idea to increase parking: along the SW side of the park, take out the concrete barrier and convert parallel parking spots to angle parking.

Another participant suggested turning the north side football field into a parking lot. (OK, that one's unlikely to fly, but we were brainstorming!)

"Skate spot"

A lot of the discussion about the skate spot centered on its location. Much of the concerns about liveability involve how close the skate spot would be to residences.

In both maps, the skate spot would be located along Holgate, next to the northmost of the Lents Little League fields. From the last round of public comment, this was the location that was most favored by respondents out of the choices given, all of which were on the park's outer edge. But this location wasn't favored by a huge margin, indicating there is no clear neighborhood consensus in favor of this spot.

Some said the Holgate location would be best, because Holgate street is already loud. Others pointed out the danger of fly balls going into the skate spot.

Other possible location discussed for the skate spot. (Note, none of these were on the previous maps, so weren't included in the previous round of public comments. If you like these ideas, say so on your comment form!)

* In the SE bowl area, next to the playground.

* On map "A," to the immediate right of the synthetic soccer field, curving around existing trees.

* In the concrete area between the south edge of Walker Stadium and the jogging path (might require removal of 2 or 3 trees to be feasible)

Generally, the idea of moving the skate spot more towards the middle of the park was popular. But there are safety concerns with this. A more central location is harder to monitor and may be more likely to be used inappropriately.

The participants who have experience designing and building skate parks had some interesting perspectives to add. According to them, it is quite feasible to design a skate park around existing trees. The skate spot should be designed and constructed properly, or it won't get used. Good design will do a lot to minimize other uses the neighborhood might not want. A lot can be done to mitigate sound. Trees help. Concrete is the best material for mitigating sound - wood is much louder. They recommend covering the skate spot because of rain, but this would be a budgetary consideration.

Soccer fields

The treatment of the central soccer fields is the big difference between maps A and B. For purposes of this conversation, we tried to focus just on the "sports" aspects of this issue, although other matters are inextricably linked, such as location of the gazebo.

Overall, the idea of re-programming one central field from soccer to natural plantings (as shown in map A) was very popular. A majority of participants, including the soccer player representative, really liked this idea.

It was pointed out that map B doesn't really cut down to one soccer field. The open space that is available "first come first served" will probably also get used for soccer.

The soccer and baseball representatives don't like synthetic turf a whole lot for playing on, but didn't argue strongly against it.

There was some support for the idea of exploring if soccer can be moved from the park to the fields at the former Marshall High School. Portland Parks doesn't control this site, and this master plan can't mandate this change.

Another idea was whether soccer can be played on the outfields of the baseball fields. (I think the reference here was to the Lents Little League fields.)

There was clarification as to when soccer gets played. Primary season is August through November, which overlaps with baseball season. All grass fields are closed down December, January and beginning of February. In late February we have lacrosse and rugby, then the soccer secondary season starts around April.

Other sports issues

With the basketball court being moved in both maps, some are concerned there is not enough capacity for volleyball.

The plans to improve Walker Stadium are already done. Once a master plan map is finalized, the Project Advisory Committee will prioritize how the work gets done.