Portland Audubon Supports the Portland HydroParks Ballot Measure 26-219

Portland Audubon strongly endorses the Portland HydroParks Ballot Measure 26-219 which will appear on the November 2020 Ballot. This measure which was referred to the voters by the Portland City Council allows the Portland Water Bureau to use its properties, outside the protected Bull Run Watershed, for secondary uses such as parks, community gardens, playgrounds, play fields and natural resource restoration.

A park bench and flowers in front of a water tank.

The Portland Water Bureau owns a variety of sites across Portland to house essential water infrastructure such as water towers and pump stations. Often these sites contain significant amounts of unused land. Historically these sites have been fenced and unavailable to the public. In recent years, the Portland Water Bureau has pulled back the fences and opened many of these sites for use by the public. Picnic tables, community gardens, park benches, play equipment, and other amenities have replaced fenced off, mostly empty lots. Many of these sites occur in underserved neighborhoods where these types of benefits are desperately needed. They have increased park access, greened our city, given our children a safe and accessible place to play, built community and increased food security.

This measure would amend the Portland City Charter to more formally allow these types of secondary uses where appropriate on Water Bureau infrastructure sites and allow the Water Bureau to invest ratepayer fundss to improve these sites for public use, to ensure that they are safe and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This common sense measure codifies a highly successful program and gives the Portland Water Bureau the ability to expand and improve the program, with public input and upon City Council approval. For decades, land surrounding water towers and other water infrastructure, sat unused and barren, behind tall fences in our neighborhoods. Today they are being converted to thriving community sites. 

Please vote YES on the Portland HydroParks Ballot Measure to ensure that the Portland Water Bureau can use its infrastructure sites to increase community health, environmental health, food security and equity in our neighborhoods!

Endorsements

Trusted Conservation and Community Based Non-Profits

  • Portland Audubon
  • Urban Greenspace Institute
  • Portland Harbor Community Coalition
  • Human Access Project
  • Willamette Riverkeeper
  • Humane Society of the United States
  • Depave
  • Access Recreation
  • Columbia Riverkeeper
  • Sierra Club, Oregon Chapter
  • East Portland Parks Coalition
  • Friends of Hazelwood Hydropark
  • Oregon League of Conservation Voters
  • Portland Parks Foundation
  • Rosewood Initiative
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Onward Oregon

Local Candidates and Elected Officials

  • Portland City Commissioner – Amanda Fritz
  • Metro (District 5) Candidate – Chris Smith

Contact

For More Information Contact: Bob Sallinger bsallinger@audubonportland.org or Micah Meskel mmeskel@audubonportland.org