Development process begins for Mill Park

There’s big news about Mill Park! Discover what those who attended a recent Community Gathering learned about this undeveloped outer East Portland park …

At this Mill Park Design Community Gathering, diverse neighbors see how the development process of their new park is advancing.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The design process for Mill Park off to a good start. That’s what people who attended the Mill Park Design Community Gathering, on the late Saturday afternoon of August 3, learned.

“Mill Park” is a 5.7-acre Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) city park within the boundary of the Mill Park neighborhood, and pretty much hidden behind Mill Park Elementary School.

> To read about the very first “Mill Park Design”
gathering, held on April 22, CLICK HERE

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Community Engagement Manager Melissa Arnold points out items of interest on the project’s schedule.

The excessive heat that day didn’t stop some 95 people from arriving to see the displays; attendees spoke with PP&R staff in the shade of the Mill Park Elementary School covered playground area.

“This is the kick-off for the design process for the development of Mill Park,” announced PP&R Community Engagement Coordinator Maija Spencer. “This is the first of three meetings through which we which will gather community input, as the park’s design progresses.”

Checking out the exhibits is Mill Park Neighborhood Association Chair Trevor Hopper.

“I think these plans are coming along great; I’m excited to see a [future] place where I can bring not just my kids, and also my grandkids, to play,” commented Mill Park Neighborhood Association Chair Trevor Hopper – who made it clear he was speaking only for himself, and not on behalf of the neighborhood association.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the soccer field, and other areas that will bring our neighbors – of diverse cultures – together, and build a greater sense of community.”

Taking down information, and asking questions, neighbors learn of more proposed design concepts for the future Mill Park.

A series of information boards were stationed at the open house to give an opportunity for attendees to see how people currently use the park – how they get there, how the community may use the park in the future – and what the priorities are, based on the 2017 Mill Park Master Plan.

PP&R staff was on hand to help gather and update the information using interactive activities for attendees at the information boards, and with comment forms.

Park gets new entrance, along SE 122nd Avenue

PP&R’s Community Engagement Coordinator Maija Spencer points to where a new entrance, and a parking lot, will add access to the improved Mill Park.

“We do have exciting news we’re sharing this evening,” Spencer told East Portland News. “We have acquired a new parcel of property, located on the east side of the park at 1949 SE 122nd Avenue, which formerly housed a Central City Concern facility.

“This will allow us to have build a ‘main park entrance’ from SE 122nd Avenue, and it’s already zoned for parking.”

The next meeting about the future park design will likely be in early October, where they will share three different concepts. The third – and final – community engagement event will occur in early 2022, when designers will share the final design, and seek final input.

“We at PP&R especially thank our partners at the Division Midway Alliance Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative district, who helped by providing outreach and interpretation to more than six different language communities that live and work near Mill Park,” commended Spencer.

If you missed your opportunity to comment on the plans being developed for Mill Park, CLICK HERE to read about the project on the official PP&R webpage.

“If folks have comments or ideas for the park, they can email me at, or call 503-823-5593,” Spencer concluded.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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