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Portland Council Applauds 'Summer Free For All'

The day before voting on a city budget for the next year, Portland city councilors endorsed a program Wednesday that leans heavily on funding from the private sector.

Under the banner, “Summer Free For All,” Portland’s parks bureau will host dozens of movies, concerts and fairs across the city. The city is also offering as many as 100,000 free lunches to children at 21 sites.

It’s a $1.4 million program. But more than 80 percent of that funding comes from sponsors, volunteer work, and in-kind donations. City councilor Nick Fish is no longer the parks commissioner – but he’s credited with helping launch “Summer Free For All.”

Fish said, “This is one of the most significant leverage opportunities that we have at the city – for every dollar that the city invests in this, private parties and public spirited businesses generate another five dollars.”

Parks are now under the supervision of city commissioner, Amanda Fritz.

The Parks bureau had faced significant cuts — but is one of the beneficiaries of Mayor Charlie Hales’ upward revisions.

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