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Think Out Loud

Portland Parks & Recreation Gold Medal

Pete Springer/OPB

Portland Parks & Recreation was just awarded the top national honor from the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and the National Recreation & Park Association. Many of the reasons why are reflected in the departments video application. Director Mike Abbaté touts the fact that 80 percent of the city’s residents live within a half mile of a park or natural area. He’s also excited by the addition of 500 new community garden plots — with plans for an additional 500 in the next year or so.

The Parks & Rec department maintains a vast array of parks, facilities and programs. From Forest Park, the nation’s largest natural area in city limits, to the much celebrated Rose Garden, to tiny neighborhood play ares, like Piccolo Park in southeast Portland. But it’s not all roses for the department either. Mike Abbaté acknowledges there’s a lot of work to be done in places like the Cully neighborhood. Residents there have long been frustated by their lack of neighborhood parks.

What’s your favorite park whereever you live? What do you do there? Are there things you wish your neighborhood park had that it doesn’t? Does your neighborhood have a park? What else would you like to see Portland Parks & Recreation do? What, if anything, do you particularly appreciate?


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OPB | Broadcast: Nov. 7, 2011