N. Crawford and N. Polk Ave property

N. Crawford and N. Polk Ave property

Courtesy of Portland Parks & Recreation

There is a new 3-acre park open to the public in the north Portland neighborhood of St. Johns.

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The park serves nearly 500 households that didn't have access to a green space or natural area within a half mile. Portland Parks and Recreation aims for every household to be able to walk to a park within 15 minutes or less.

Portland Parks spokesman Mark Ross says the new area is like a "little oasis."

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"It's a wonderful piece of land we were able to acquire. And you can use it for a great spot for having picnics, or reading a book, looking at the sunset, popping the question — whatever is in your life right now," said Ross.

The parks department will maintain the land for now by mowing, pruning and picking up trash, but Ross said the city won't develop it until a master plan is in place. He said people living in St. Johns will have significant influence over that plan. The city will be asking residents what they would like to see in the area.

Ross said he is happy the land now belongs to the public instead of a private developer.

The new park is home to two heritage trees, both of which are Oregon white oaks.

The money used to purchase the land was from system development charges, not tax dollars. SDC money comes from new development and construction fees in Portland.

Ross said parks are a big part of livability and St Johns has seen significant residential growth. He also said new parks help to mitigate the impacts of growth.

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